Jóhannes Svavar Rúnarsson, CEO of Strætó, wants to experiment with the idea of self driving buses over the next two years.
The self driving buses will be smaller and only carry up to 10 passengers to begin with. Jóhannes has stated that they will not replace the traditional twelve-metre bus.
The CEO of Strætó spoke with Stöð 2’s Morgunútvarp this morning saying, “We want to try to see if it works here. We need some capital and partners. We have been talking to Faxaflói harbors about driving between harbors when the cruise ships arrive.”
2021: A Bus Odyssey.
The idea for these self driving buses is that they will be electric, small and suitable for the suburbs. Ideally, they will be quiet and perfect for the morning school run.
The proposed hi-tech buses will be equipped with a myriad of sensors and radars, allowing them to sense all sorts of danger; whether it be a rogue animal wandering onto the road or bits of debris that could cause a crash.
Jóhannes believes that a special lane would have to be created for the self driving machines in order to minimise the risk of coming into contact with other traffic.
Pilot projects on self driving buses have already been seen in the likes of Norway and Finland with much success.
Jóhannes however does not expect that the human hand to disappear completely.
A member of staff will remain on the bus at all times to monitor passengers and the bus itself, in case the machine decides to go rogue.
Bus Runner 2047…
There are currently lots of advancements being made with self driving cars across the world. We only need to look at Tesla who have been instrumental in the push for AI controlled automobiles.
Their cars have been very impressive with their self driving modes however there are still doubters.
Much of what has been showcased involves the cars driving on large stretches of motorways across the USA; straight roads with little to worry about.
One cannot help themselves but think that it would be much harder to program an AI to drive on the skiddy, icy and slick roads of Iceland.
There are currently 14-15 electric buses in use in Reykjavik that can travel around 270km before needing charge. They are recharged once during the day and left on charge overnight.
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