New Self-Driving Train Bus Hits the Road in China


It's like a bus-train without a driver or tracks.

CRRC made it for public transportation as it can carry up to 300 passengers along complex city routes without the need to lay expensive tracks. The company revealed their design in June and started road tests 2 weeks ago in Zhuzhou, China.

It scans painted driving marks on the road to guide it instead of tracks. It made stops at 4 stations along a 2-mile city route. This all-electric vehicle is a major competitor for trains, buses, and even taxis because it's like a mixture of each of them. 

A 10-minute charge equals 15.5 miles of travel with a max speed is 43 miles per hour. This vehicle was designed to last for 25 years, so the city is investing in a self-driving mass transit future.

With more of these kinds of self-driving vehicles becoming popular because of their powerful, efficient, zero-emission electric turbines, and artificially intelligent computers, we may see a rapid change in not just transportation but in the entire civic engineering of modern cities. 


Other cities may adopt such a solution to their growing population density where limited footprint and congested roads cannot fit a railway system. Just paint some new lines and hop on this "Rail-Bus" to beat the traffic. 

The first Rail-Bus network system will open in China early next year. 



Google-bred Waymo aims to shift robotic cars into next gear


By MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer

ATWATER, Calif. (AP) — Google's self-driving car spin-off is accelerating efforts to convince the public that its technology is almost ready to safely transport people without any human assistance at all.

Waymo, hatched from a Google project started eight years ago, showed off its progress Monday during a rare peek at a closely guarded testing facility located 120 miles (193 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco. That's where its robots complete their equivalent of driver's education.

The tour included giving more than three dozen reporters rides in Chrysler Pacifica minivans traveling through faux neighborhoods and expressways that Waymo has built on a former Air Force base located in the Californian Central Valley city of Atwater.

The minivans smoothly cruised the roads — driver's seat empty and passengers in the back — at speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph). By contrast, the Waymo-powered minivans that have been driving volunteer riders in the Phoenix area still use safety drivers to take over control if something goes wrong.

But Waymo's real goal is to get to the point where people in cars are nothing but passengers.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik told reporters that the company will be making some cars and freight trucks totally driverless fairly soon, though he didn't provide a specific timetable. "We are really close," he said. "We are going to do it when we feel like we are ready."

Since Google began working on self-driving cars in 2009, dozens of established automakers such as General Motors and Ford Motors have entered the race, along with other big technology companies, including Apple and ride-hailing service Uber. The competition is so fierce and the stakes so high that Waymo is currently suing Uber, alleging that one of its former managers stole its trade secrets and took them with him when he joined Uber in 2016 as part of an elaborate scheme. The trial in that high-profile case is scheduled to begin in early December.

Waymo is hoping to infuse its technology into ride-hailing services such as its current partner, Lyft, and big-rig trucking companies. It also intends to license its automated system to automakers such as Fiat Chrysler Automobile, which is already using it in 100 Pacifica minivans.