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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
French manufacturer Easymile started today test operations of its autonomous shuttle buses EZ10 at the office park Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, 35 miles East of San Francisco. The driverless, electric buses offer seats for six and neither do they have steering wheels, nor pedals. They are programmed to drive along pre-programmed routes and allow passengers to enter and leave them at predefined stations. Two EZ10 vehicles were presented at today's opening ceremony.

The buses themselves are manufactured bu the french car maker Ligier, and can take up to 12 people (six seated, 6 standing). The cruising speed is at 20km/h, maximum speed is at 40km/h. In total the bus weighs 1,050 kilogram, and can take on a load of up to 1,700 kilogram. The lithium-ion-battery drives up to 14 hours with charging stations with 203V / 16A. The bus can drive in both directions and doesn't need to make a U-turn.

The buses can drive in three different modes: in the metro-modus in stops at every pre-programmed station. In the bus-mode it stops at each passenger request. This mode can be programmed to be a loop or a back-and-forth route. In the on-demand-mode the bus can be requested like a taxi via a smartphone-app.

So far test drives have been done at the Gomentum Station test track. Bishop Ranch is the first public area, which even includes public streets. Specifically for this case governor Jerry Brown signed a law permitting the use of driverless cars without a driver present.

Article here.

 

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lol what a joke. pre programmed routes. This is just as impressive as the driverless train at SeaTac airport that runs on a pre programmed route, stops, and schedule. What level of automation is this? level .5?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
lol what a joke. pre programmed routes. This is just as impressive as the driverless train at SeaTac airport that runs on a pre programmed route, stops, and schedule. What level of automation is this? level .5?
The point, for the US, is that self-driving passenger service is here and on public roads. Of course they will be greatly limited at first.

This is not an autonomous vehicle, the title is misleading, it's a self-driving vehicle. Level 5 is probably still pretty far away, but it's not needed for passenger service which is what should concern us. Level 4 is the same as 5, full autonomy, just within a limited geographical area. The first point-to-point SDC TNC's will probably be level 4, fully autonomous, or perhaps 3.5, with occasional remote or local assistance with outlier situations.
 
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