Volvo tested a prototype unmanned bus in real conditionsNovember 15, 2019
Another possibility of using unmanned vehicles was demonstrated by a Swedish company. The Volvo Buses prototype skillfully maneuvered around the depot without a driver behind the wheel.
Volvo has partnered with Keolis, a transportation company, to develop a 12-meter electric bus that moves between car parks and service stations without a driver. It is inefficient to force a person to drive while the bus is being washed, charged and prepared for the next flight. The company emphasizes that this is not about replacing humans with robots, but about improving productivity and safety.
The more car manufacturers turn to electric transport – and Volvo now produces only hybrids and electric cars – the more acute is the question of developing appropriate infrastructure. For example, it would be good to charge without connecting cables, which means – without human intervention. Well, or almost without participation – someone should tell the bus what to do. But for this, the operator only needs to press the button and send the car to the sink or to the garage, Venture Beat writes.
The company has already tested unmanned buses before, but this test is one of the first that took place in real conditions on the territory of this fleet in Gothenburg.
Neither Volvo nor Keolis have yet announced the timing of the appearance of such electric buses on Swedish roads. “It will take many more years before we can see fully autonomous buses on public roads, but since fleets are enclosed areas with a predictable and regular flow of traffic, autonomous buses may appear there much earlier,” said Hakan Angewall, president of Volvo Buses.
A year ago, Volvo unmanned trucks received their first work contract. They were hired to transport limestone from a quarry in a Norwegian mining company. According to the agreement, six FH unmanned heavy trucks must independently overcome 5 km of the route.
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