Saturday, December 14, 2019
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The UK Is Trialing Its First Complete-Sized Autonomous Bus

The UK Is Trialing Its First Complete-Sized Autonomous Bus

The UK this week launched its first complete-sized autonomous bus—although in limited way. Currently, the single-deck bus will steer around a bus depot in Manchester, where it will maneuver and park itself into a bus wash. But the tech used can shortly make all buses more secure, and it will be employed again by 2020, when 5 autonomous buses transport users all over Forth Road Bridge Corridor in Scotland, once the biggest suspension bridge out of the US.

The onboard sensor package comprises LIDAR, radar, ultrasound, optical cameras, and satellite navigation. As with all autonomous vehicle tech, there is a possibility for cross over into manually used cars, where this technology might do things such as alert drivers of pedestrians or cyclists in blind spots.

While this autonomous bus is restricted to driving around a bus depot and still in its premature stage, it is an important step in the autonomous vehicle development of UK. It might not be quite as exhilarating as an independent fighter jet, taking a ride around Las Vegas in an underground tunnel, or FedEx delivery robots, but buses will expectedly be the first autonomous huge-scale-transit we witness, and this takes us one step nearer.

On a related note, FedEx earlier claimed that is testing robots for short-distant deliveries. The firm officially declared its new FedEx SameDay Bot, which it claims can assist make “last mile” deliveries more well-organized. The SameDay Bot has a top speed of 10 mph, is battery-fueled, and is autonomous, indicating that it can steer itself around traffic and pedestrians with the help of a mixture of LIDAR sensors similar to those seen in regular cameras and self-driving cars. FedEx claims it will initially employ the bot to courier products in its headquarters between the firm’s offices in Memphis (pending sanction from government).

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