City buses are slowly but steadily going electric, and they could soon begin to go driverless as well. Electric bus maker Proterra, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Nevada Reno and the German Fraunhofer Institute, is testing autonomous buses on the streets of Reno.
The first phase of the pilot project will focus on collecting data from cameras and sensors on the bus, as well as a network of LIDAR and other data-gathering hardware installed along the route. For now, there will still be a bus driver behind the wheel.
Bus routes offer both advantages (regular, predictable routes) and challenges (dense urban streets with unpredictable vehicle and pedestrian traffic) for self-driving vehicles.
A pilot program in Las Vegas is also testing driverless technology, and other cities, including Oakland, Phoenix, Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida, are developing plans for autonomous service, said Art Guzzetti, Vice President for Policy at the American Public Transportation Association. “It’s a trend at the very early stages.”
Source: San Jose Mercury News