AI News, Driverless Dutch Bus Takes Passengers on Public Test

Driverless Dutch Bus Takes Passengers on Public Test

The shuttle bus they were on had no onebehind the wheel.That short trial run along a lake in the Dutch town of Wageningen marked the first time such a self-driving vehicle had appeared on public roads in the Netherlands.

“With this project we are taking new steps towards making self-driving transport a reality in practice,” saidSchultz van Haegen, Minister ofInfrastructure and the Environment for the Netherlands, in a Jan. 28 statement.“It is only through practical testing that we can acquire new knowledge, not just technical knowledge, but also knowledge regarding safety, liability and privacy.” Existing self-driving buses such asthe Rotterdam Rivium shuttle bus in the Netherlands, and the Heathrow shuttles in London, U.K., operate only within dedicated lanes separate from other traffic.

Baidu expects autonomous buses to become first wave of self-driving vehicles

He expects a large number of such vehicles to be in operation within three years (= early 2019) and mass production to be in full swing within five years (= 2021).

Andrew Ng correctly pointed out that such autonomous buses operating on fixed routes or small regions  would have the advantage that care could be taken to ensure that the routes are well maintained, don’t have construction (or the construction site is clearly indicated in the map) etc.

Building software that can reliably handle even the most challenging situations is a hard task and needs to consist of a combination of machine learning, an enormous testing program (usually combined with knowledge acquisition and machine learning), careful and very extensive risk analysis and risk modeling, and purpose-built test scenarios which challenge the capabilities of the cars both in simulators and in staged test cases in the real world.

We have pointed out for the past five years that the switch towards shared mobility services based on fully autonomous vehicles will be the great transformation that self-driving car technology will bring.

This is the reason why auto makers have been so reluctant to push fully autonomous driving and why it provides avenues for new entrants such as Google, Baidu, EasyMile, Bestmile, Zoox, potentially Apple, and others to capture a significant share of the world’s expenses for personal mobility.

Those pioneers who solve the problem of fully autonomous driving will find enormous business potential for self-driving taxis, self-driving shuttles, self-driving consumer cars, trucks and machines.

Steering Wheel-Free, Driverless Bus Shows the Future of Mass Transit

Fully electric and capable of speeds up to 25 miles per hour (though they’re only planned to operate at about 16 miles per hour) the WEpods will provide regular service along a roughly four-mile route on the campus of Wageningen University.

Easymile also produces a similar driverless shuttle known as the EZ10, which the company says is “designed to cover short distances and predefined routes.” But the WEpod’s limited, well-defined route vastly simplifies the technological demands of EZ10 project, since detailed mapping is one of the key components of driverless systems.

WEpod passengers will be able to book a ride on the buses through a smartphone app, which will likely include Uber-like arrival time information and allow the vehicle to stop specifically where the rider is waiting.

In the not too distant future, driverless, multi-passenger vehicles similar to the WEpod could pick up multiple riders at their doorsteps and deliver each to their individual destination, all while cutting traffic congestion and saving energy.

Test drives: around the world, driverless buses are taking to thestreets

They may have a top speed of under 50 kilometres per hour, but driverless buses are moving into the fast lane of transport innovation.

In recent months, cities around the world have been trialling automated bus services: Auto-mobility While Google have been grabbing most of the headlines to do with driverless vehicles, the French technology firm of Navya has been designing and producing autonomous cars since 2014.

With a capacity of no more than 15 passengers and speeds of no greater than 50 km per hour, the ARMA buses are designed to cover short distances, following distinct routes that avoid heavy traffic.

And Navya shuttle buses are also ferrying workers and visitors around the EDF power plant in Civaux, The driverless service replaced a diesel bus, cutting waiting time down from 15 to 5 minutes.

However, the designers of driverless vehicles are adopting a safety-first culture.  In many of the vehicles, data is stored in the equivalent of an aircraft’s “black box”, enabling lessons to be learned from incidents taking place during the journey.