The mass transportation bus has come from far.
Yes, its England which gave us the bus in 1830 but it’s the Germans who set in motion the process that brought about the vehicles to the mainstream by launching an engine-powered eight-passenger bus in 1895.
Back then, nobody would have believed that the world would eventually create a 300-capacity bus such as Volvo’s Gran Arctic 300.
And now it seems that the future bus will be a High-Tec piece of engineering- at least going by the latest industry trends…
Helsinki is Creating a Driverless Bus
Under the EU-funded Sohjoa project, Finland could soon be debuting robot-manned bus service, if the city’s transportation officials succeed.
Already the city has conducted the initial trials where the bus traveled a quarter-mile length at about 7 m.p.h.( eleven kilometers per hour ).
And even though there was an operator on board during tests to handle emergencies, the officials seem confident enough to make it a regular service.
If it happens, this could be the inaugural application of automated transportation technology for masses.
The Electric Bus Could Soon be in Vogue
Forget about Tesla. The new mass electric car could be a bus.
U.S. based Proterra is deeply engrossed in electric buses and is convinced that the advent of 100% electric buses will completely revolutionize transport.
So far, the US cities have been completely won over with Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, Miami, New York, and Dallas adding electric buses to their fleets.
Further afield, China is said to have purchased over 20,000 electric buses.
Amidst this impressive growth, it’s clear that the cost of the green bus is still out of reach for many forcing some companies and individuals to prefer used buses.
The Smart Bus Is On the Way
Connectivity, cameras, plus radar systems merged with data fusion could soon catapult the current city bus into a smart new future.
Mercedes-Benz has the future bus project dubbed the CityPilot and is based on their autonomously driving Actros truck Piloted in 2014.
The bus maneuvers traffic lights, reads them, and negotiates busy junctions managed by them.
It can also navigate around obstacles, such as pedestrians, and brakes autonomously.
On the same note, it stops at bus stations automatically and intelligently opens/closes its doors.
Smaller Buses Growing
A bus, perhaps, will soon be much unlike a bus with the ongoing addition of smaller automated shuttles as a form of feeder system opening up the transport network in some locations globally.
The France-based Navya says that they run small shuttles in multiple locations around the world working on business parks, campuses, and trial routes thus solving the last-mile challenge.
Next now is to come up with ride-hailing services to have the service run as an on-demand service within city transit systems.
Most importantly, the new vehicles can self-charge (when not on the road) using AV technology.
The bus has not been left behind as the rest of the motor industry undergoes the technology-powered revolution and the world should brace for an intelligent future bus.
Driverless, smaller, electric and smarter, the upcoming vehicle is predicted to be an innovation marvel.