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Driverless electric bus piloted in Madrid university campus
17 January 2020 @ 16:55

A DRIVERLESS mini-bus powered by electricity is about to be piloted as intra-campus student transport at Madrid Autonomous University (UAM).

Unveiled this month and due to be put into operation next month, the Z10 is the result of a joint effort between Madrid Regional Transport Consortium, the national traffic authority (DGT), ALSA coaches, and the university itself.

It has six seats and space for a further six standing passengers, and will travel a total circuit of 3.8 kilometres around the Cantoblanco campus.

At present, around 30,000 students and staff travel these same roads in over 6,000 conventional vehicles, the UAM says.

Although transport for 12 at a time will not make much of a dent in the emissions generated by these daily 30,000, if the new ALSA mini-bus works well, it is likely more and more of them will be used on campus – as a prelude to their starting to operate on mainstream roads and in towns.

The mini-bus, adapted for disabled users, has built-in sensors, cameras and other latest-generation technology to ensure it is safe to move around without a human driver.

For the moment, though, a separate bus lane has been set up, meaning it should not face any physical obstacles.

Test 'driving' is under way, and engineers are riding on it to monitor how it works and look out for potential incidents, such as double-parked cars in its way.



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