4 self-driv­ing buses tested in Shen­zhen

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 5 China - By CHAI HUA in Shen­zhen [email protected]­nadai­lyhk.com

Four self-driv­ing buses were tested on public roads in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, on Satur­day. It was be­lieved to be the first such live test in the world.

Each bus looks like a nor­mal one. There’s even a driver in po­si­tion for safety. But the new buses are steered au­to­mat­i­cally along des­ig­nated routes with­out a driver’s hands ever touch­ing the wheel.

They can au­to­mat­i­cally avoid pedes­tri­ans, speed up, slow down, make an emer­gency stop, change roads and nav­i­gate traf­fic lights.

The buses used for the test can carry up to 19 pas­sen­gers. Liu Xian­g­long — among the first pas­sen­gers to ex­pe­ri­ence what’s called the Al­phaba bus — said the trip was sta­ble, and the bus stopped ac­cu­rately at each sta­tion.

For the test runs, the route is about 1.2 kilo­me­ters, with three sta­tions on a public road in a sec­tion of Fu­tian dis­trict. Speeds are up to about 40 kilo­me­ters per hour. The whole trip can be cov­ered in five min­utes.

“At a ‘T’ in­ter­sec­tion, a pri­vate car sud­denly turned to­ward us and the bus slowed down,” Liu re­called, “but its brake was a lit­tle too fierce.”

Shen­zhen Haylion Tech­nolo­gies Co de­vel­oped the self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy. Hu Jian­ping, chair­man of Haylion, said the pi­lot buses cost about 500,000 yuan ($76,000); all were man­u­fac­tured in China.

Safety is a crit­i­cal is­sue in self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy. Hu said there are seven ac­tive safety fea­tures in each bus, in­clud­ing lasers, in­frared light, radar, sen­sors and a vis­ual scan­ning sys­tem.

The tech­nol­ogy has boomed world­wide in re­cent years, as in­ter­na­tional giants in the in­ter­net and au­to­mo­bile in­dus­tries are all speed­ing up de­vel­op­ment of their own prod­ucts.

In Au­gust, China Rail­way Rolling Stock Corp tested a 12-me­ter-long driver­less coach in Bei­jing.

Yu Gang, chair­man of Shen­zhen Bus Group Co — one of the three ma­jor bus com­pa­nies in the south­ern city and the op­er­a­tor of Al­phaba — said that be­sides driv­ing tech­nolo­gies, the new in­tel­li­gent driv­ing sys­tem also in­cludes pas­sen­ger vol­ume anal­y­sis, smart dis­patch­ing and other fea­tures.

Test runs of the four buses have cov­ered 8,000 kilo­me­ters so far in dif­fer­ent parts of Shen­zhen over the past four months. The buses will en­ter for­mal op­er­a­tion if ap­proved.


A self-driv­ing bus be­gins its test run on a public road in Shen­zhen on Satur­day.

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