China pioneers the world’s first driverless bus

While tech companies in America have focused on personal automated cars, China has gone big with what could be the beginning of mass, unmanned bus transit. The spacious vehicle, unveiled at the end of August after three years of development, recently managed a 20-mile trip through the crowded city of Zhengzhou without crashing into other motorists or bursting into flames. That same driver stayed behind the wheel, true, but maybe as technology progresses he’ll be replaced with a Johnny-Cab robot.

There is more here, including photos and video, via Air Genius Gary Leff.


Great news. Buses are even better for this than cars, because buses follow a regular route - you can just have them stop at the scheduled stops and wait for a period of time (or until the bus no longer detects people getting on and off) before going to the next stop. The only downside would be the payment system, plus disabled passengers - you'd have to make it easier for disabled passengers to get on and off the bus, and secure themselves while on it.

But will it be able to drive straight instead of stopping at the bus stop as the bus drivers I know do? Won't we miss the human touch?

A+ for the Johnny Cab reference that includes YouTube link.

Perhaps some day they'll have an invisible hand to run their economy.

Not mentioned: the buses will automatically detect where you want to go based on all of your Alipay, Weibo, Alibaba, Tencent, Alitravel, Taobao, Alitoilet, Aliwork, and AliXi data. No need for manual input or selection!

Man, average is over!

The "future" may be boring. In all these metro lines there's no Johnny robot to welcome you on board =)

But can it back over pedestrians to make sure they're dead?

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