Driverless Buses

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J-2739

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Just found this while surfing around the telegraph (not a regular reader:
More here-http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ess-bus-service-begins-carrying-passengers-i/

The world’s first driverless bus service began carrying passengers in the French city of Lyon this weekend, attracting curious onlookers keen to photograph the vehicles.

Two electric minibuses with a capacity of 15 passengers each are now operating a 10-minute route with five stops in the city centre at an average speed of 6 miles (10km) per hour.

The vehicles have been tested without passengers in other French cities and in Switzerland, and a trial is under way in Dubai, using a bus developed with the help of a French company.

In Lyon, the 4-metre-long buses attracted curious onlookers who took ‘selfies’ beside the vehicles, which allow passengers to stand at the front and enjoy the journey from a “driver’s eye view”.

Christophe Sapet, chief executive of the Navya company which designed the buses, said: “They’re equipped with a range of detectors that allow them to know exactly where they are and to detect everything happening around them and to manage it intelligently to avoid collisions.”

Nevertheless, the buses are not capable of manoeuvring around other traffic and the routes are near a tramway where other vehicles are not allowed....

Obviously, they are very small buses with space for 15 people, but what do you think? Could future advances allow for high capacity double decker driverless buses in London? Would there come to a time when the majority of buses will have no driver on board?

You decide!
 
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talltim

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How is a driverless bus to know when its not supposed to go under 50mph?
 

J-2739

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How is a driverless bus to know when its not supposed to go under 50mph?

I wonder that too. Maybe it's linked to a specific signal system similar to ATO but its focused on one route so knows the speed limits well?

(I know, it's not as simple as that. Maybe some technicians can explain this?)
 

matt_world2004

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How would a driverless bus cope with the often unpredictable behaviour particularly around boarding and alighting.
 

Busaholic

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The last sentence in that report, beginning 'Nevertheless...', indicates to me the main drawback. May as well have a tram or trolleybus, also incapable of passing round stationary vehicles in their way.
 

PeterC

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May as well have a tram or trolleybus, also incapable of passing round stationary vehicles in their way.
Interesting update on modern trolleybuses. The old British ones were quite capable of passing a parked vehicle.
 

J-2739

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The last sentence in that report, beginning 'Nevertheless...', indicates to me the main drawback. May as well have a tram or trolleybus, also incapable of passing round stationary vehicles in their way.

You'd need more infrastructure for that though.
 

nerd

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New full size automated bus for Singapore goes on trial:
https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/24/singapore-autonomous-bus-trial/?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000618
This could be the future! Could DDs be next?

[note to mode: could you add the link if you're on desktop please? It's really laggy, the mobile version. Thanks!]

China last year

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-t...t-put-a-massive-self-driving-bus-on-the-road/

Inherently, driverless technology is likely to become viable and economic for busses a fair bit earlier than it will for individual cars. Current driverless technology is not at all autonomous (though its proponents do tend to label it as such); to be specific, it will not allow a prospective traveller to dial-in a destination point with the expectation that the vehicle would find its own way there, without any external input or control. Automatic driving isn't like automatic parking writ large. Instead, driverless vehicles in current technology are directed along a route determined for each trip by a central control hub (generally connected by satellite). So the central hub must maintain a virtual map - in great detail and updated daily - of every road over which its driverless vehicles are allowed to travel; such that every trip has to be booked with the central hub.

So the biggest cost component for operating a driverless vehicle is in the surveying and re-surveying of its virtual map. It is straightforward technology for a driverless vehicle to read a set of traffic lights, and proceed on Green. What is as yet impossible, and likely never will be possible, is for a driverless vehicle to know without being told which of the green traffic lights that are visible to its detectors apply to it, and which to other traffic. This information has to have been surveyed in advance.

But the route map for a bus network will be vastly less extensive than the entire road network of even a small town. Hence the reason why most observers expect driverless technology first to find a realistic implementation in busses; probably in China; where access to consumer litigation is less inhibitive.
 
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