Sustainability

Self-driving electric bus begins testing on public roads

Posted on January 28, 2016

WEpod
WEpod
AMSTERDAM — An electric, driverless shuttle bus will take to the Dutch public roads on Thursday, rolling six passengers along a 200 meter (yard) stretch of road in the first trial of its kind worldwide, Reuters reported.

The WePod, one of a fleet to be rolled out in coming years, will ride back and forth in the central Dutch agricultural town of Wageningen, the report said.

WEpod
WEpod

At 8 kilometers (5 miles) per hour, it's not going to set a speed record, "but an unmanned vehicle has never been used on public roads," the project's technical director, Jan Willem van der Wiel, said. "This is a milestone," according to Reuters.

For the full story, click here.

What are WEpods?

WEpods are driverless vehicles that do not have a steering wheel or pedals. They are fully automated and are electrically powered. Main features:

  •     6-person cabin, automated door and platform lift for wheelchairs
  •     Height 275 cm, width 199 cm, length 393 cm, wall-to-wall turning circle 9 m
  •     Maximum speed 25mph (in the test phase the WEpod drives at 5 mph)
  •     Electrically powered with a range of approximately 62 miles

WEpod
WEpod

Navigation
Good navigation is vital for self-driving vehicles if they are to follow a route safely and reliably. To this end, a special highly detailed map of the route is made. In addition to the layout of the road, this map also displays all visible objects (trees, lampposts, etc.). The vehicle’s exact travel line is projected on the map and the (maximum) speed for each section of the road is set down. Such a map is something completely new; its exact definition was developed in this project.

WEpod
WEpod

Safety
Cameras, radar sensors and laser sensors provide the WEpod with correct information on its surroundings so that it can anticipate necessary actions. Various on-board computers combine all the data and give commands, including to the braking and steering systems. In this way, the vehicle can respond to other roads users and sudden changes. An operator in the control room receives a signal at certain pre-defined points and if the vehicle stops. The operator then examines the situation with the vehicle and initiates the appropriate action. While inside the WEpod, passengers can also contact the control room at any given moment.

[Video] EasyMile driverless shuttle in Lausanne, Switzerland

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

U.S.-China zero emissions 'race' unveils guidelines

The friendly competition between the two countries encourages transit providers to deploy a new generation of non-polluting buses.

Zero-emission New Flyer bus deliveries increase by 48% in 2016

Including hybrid-electric propulsion, New Flyer has now delivered over 6,400 buses driven by electric motors to the North American transit industry over the past 20 years.

Proterra secures $140M in funding for expansion, product development

With the new capital, Proterra will dramatically accelerate production capacity on both coasts, while continuing to develop its next generation of heavy-duty electric vehicle products.

Bilbao, Spain adds 2 electric Irizar i2e buses

The totally silent, zero-emission vehicles achieve a range of over 124 miles and include sodium-nickel batteries that provide power to the electric motor, resulting in a nominal torque of 1500 Nm and 180 kW of power.

OKC's EMBARK receives federal grant for CNG bus purchase

Six new buses will replace aging vehicles in the fleet. The buses will be similar to the six 40-foot CNG buses that rolled out on the street this fall.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close