May 07, 2017 08:20 PM EDT
Several autonomous bus trials have rolled into action over the last year or so, and a new one is ready for the road show in the US this week. But this one is a bit different; this bus involves an electric capable of clocking 600 miles (966km) on a single charge.
According to Engadget, the US Company Proterra has gotten the Nevada authorities onboard for trials designed specifically to explore autonomous mass-transit systems; pacing its long-range electric buses on streets. Electric autonomous buses are taking to the streets in location all over the world, as companies and governments eye for a clean and automated mass transportation. Switzerland's public bus operator is testing them on the streets, while other examples include the EZ10 in California and the Navia currently shuttling students around the Singaporean university.
Proterra has collaborated with the University of Reno and its partners from its Living Lab initiative that coordinated testing of mobility technologies across the city. Those partners include the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles; this partnership gives Proterra the green light to start testing its vehicles in the area.
As noted by The Mercury News, Proterra has been developing their electric buses for some time with the ultimate goal of building a vehicle capable of serving any transit route in the US. This showed great progress toward its goals in 2015 when it drew 250 miles (402km0 from its Proterra Catalyst XR electric bus on only one charge, and then again last year a 600-mile (966km) showing with the so-called Catalyst E2.
Proterra will be putting new robotic perception algorithm tests, while the endeavor will also look at how to best predict traffic flow and ways to improve safety. This will be focusing on data collection and deploy Proterra's electric bus along specific routes, develop communications and algorithms, and work on licensing and commercialization.
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