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Autonomous buses, not taxis?

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Last summer, we tested driverless minibuses along a route of 1.3 km on a pedestrianized boulevard in Oristano, a small town in Italy. The idea was to test driverless vehicles mixed with traffic.

Why minibuses and not taxis? Firstly, because it is much simpler to teach a robot to follow a fixed route, rather than teach it to go anywhere the passengers want to go. Such a system is already operational in Rotterdam (2getthere.eu/projects/rivium/) and it works well, but it has one drawback: the tracks are segregated and they represent an ugly severance in the urban tissue.

Read more: http://www.humantransit.org/2014/11/luca-guala-driverless-buses-will-be-more-transformative-than-driverless-taxis.html


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  • 2 weeks later...

A driverless bus is simple, technically. Think of a trolley, with the tracks replaced by a cable embedded in the roadway. Add sensors for traffic lights, pedestrians, and collision avoidance, then program it to drive the route, and you have a first cut. A car that must follow regular roads to whatever route the passenger wants is far more complex.

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