Self driving bus that talks and listens to passengers coming to US cities within months.
A self-driving bus which not only carries passengers but talks to them could be seen in several major US cities within months.
While the commercial launch of “autonomous cars” is still seen as being several years away, the “Olli” could begin operation on university campuses in Las Vegas and Miami later this year.
It has already been tested in Maryland.
The electrically-powered Olli, which can carry 12 passengers, is likely to enter service initially in closed locations such as on campuses and at airports.
It will rely on similar technology to that used on Google’s driver-less cars including a laser-sensing system, known as lidar. It will also have a number of cameras.
The bus is fitted with speed monitoring and a sensor on the front which will bring it to a halt if it makes contact with anything.
Thanks to technology developed by IBM, known as Watson, the bus will be able to “interact” with passengers who, for example, could use voice commands to tell Olli to take them to a specified destination.