UK puts driverless electric shuttle buses to test on public roads
Autonomous drive systems may not just be restricted to personal passenger vehicles as the UK recently began testing the viability of having driverless shuttle buses - powered by electric motors - for public service on public roads.
Called Aurrigo Auto-Shuttle, these special buses will be part of special trails in the city of Cambridge and on a 3.2 kilometre route.
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As part of the trials, only pre-selected passengers can hop inside but will first have to make use of the Aurrigo app from where they can select any of the numerous stops where they can be picked from.
With speeds of up to 32 kmph, the shuttle buses aren't among the quickest but are likely to suffice considering these will move around within city limits. Each bus can seat 10 passengers at a time and has a range of around 124 kilometres courtesy a 47 kWh battery pack.
Built by Conventry-based engineering firm Aurrigo, the idea behind such buses is to provide clean and efficient transport services to city residents. The company on its website claims that these buses can be put to use as shuttle options for shift workers and can reduce labour costs while also being safer for passengers and pedestrians, when compared to conventional buses. Other application areas could be as airport shuttle buses, link connectors between city centers and suburbs and for tourism purposes.
Much, however, would depend on how the trails fare and three such buses would be put on the roads come starting of Ju