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June 17, 2021

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Jiading trials a smarter way to travel fast on roads

If a taxi costs too much and a bus is too slow, a new travel alternative will soon be available in Shanghai.

You can choose departure and arrival stops and times on an app and reserve a seat in advance, and a car or bus will pick you up at the designated location. You will then be transported directly to your destination with no stops in between.

The new travel system was launched yesterday in suburban Jiading District, and it’s now up and running on an 8.2-kilometer lane on Huyi Highway — a special lane for motor vehicles with more than one person.

This reporter took a trial ride of the system yesterday in a minibus. A total of 15 cars and buses joined the ride.

Traveling on the highway lane from Chenxiang Road to Yecheng Road, there were no red lights, and it took 9 minutes. Normally it takes at least 25 minutes.

The lane’s speed limit is 60 kilometers per hour, twice the average speed of a bus along the same route, according to Cui Lei, a manager at Shanghai Dexin Smart Technology, a Jiading-based company involved in the system’s development.

“The system aims to transport people more efficiently over major thoroughfares such as Huyi Highway, especially during rush hour, with special traffic light schemes,” Cui said.

It works by automatically allocating passengers to cars or buses interconnected in the system via the Internet.

“No reservation will be turned down, and theoretically the system can transport at least 30,000 people per hour, on par with the subway system,” he said.

The system provides cars and buses with 5, 15 to 17 and 23 seats, and the service is free during the trial period. The future ticket price will be higher than buses but lower than taxis.

Reservations can be made through the WeChat app “Zhihui Chelie,”

In the future, all cars and buses in the system will be driverless.

Other participants in the project include the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Tongji University, Tsinghua University, Hunan University and the Jiading District government.


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