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Minhang keen to introduce driverless buses

MINHANG District plans to develop a model of driverless bus this year, which will run along a line of magnetic nails, district officials said yesterday.

The new bus will look like a normal bus but an electromagnetic system on board will interact with the magnetic nails on the ground to guide the bus forward, the Minhang Construction and Transportation Commission told local lawmakers.

Sensors will be aligned on both sides of a bus lane and installed on the bus to keep it move inside the lane and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. The sensors can also stop the bus at stations automatically.

The bus can have two or more trailer sections for carrying more passengers during rush hours, according to the commission.

"The magnetic-nail bus will supplement the existing Metro and bus systems and boost the capacity of the district's public transit network," an official with the commission said.

However, the new bus will have to use a special lane and renovation of some roads and bus stops is needed.

The first magnetic-nail bus was developed about 10 years ago in the United States where the first commercial route opened to service a few months ago.


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