Within the framework of the Moscow International Motor Show, there has taken place a presentation of the exclusive concept of the urban transport system using driverless buses in the development of which KAMAZ PTC has been taking part (KAMAZ is a portfolio company of Rostec State Corporation).
The project is code named “SHUTTLE” (the term originates fr om the English words “space shuttle”). Underlying the promising idea is the launch into the city avenues of several 12 seater buses using autonomous driving system. Autonomous driving vehicles are considered to be an alternative to conventional multiple seat buses driven by drivers and plying strictly pre-set routes.
The project is being worked at by a consolidated team of experts from NAMI and KAMAZ with involvement of the company Yandex which is in charge of the infrastructure. In the meantime, KAMAZ as a company which is possessed of experience and expertise in designing vehicles with autonomous driving system is the main industrial partner of the project and is to lay down the marketing policy of introducing the product to the market. The company has already presented to the general public a prototype robot vehicle which is currently undergoing tests. Apart from that, the project requires the vast experience accumulated by the Chelny based vehicle production giant in the area of bus manufacture.
Under the SHUTTLE concept, the path followed by the autonomously driven vehicle is mapped out in real time mode, adaptively, depending on the passengers’ actual need for transportation. Passenger’s communication with the system proceeds via a special application in the telephone wh ere a person sets destination which he or she wants to reach, while his or her location data are obtained by the system from the telephone’s geo location data. Besides, at the time that the order is made, one can specify, on one’s own, the functional role of the vehicle: whether it will be a taxi or a vehicle for collective (shared) use.
Since, at the present time, in the Russian Federation, there is no legal framework for traffic of driverless vehicles on general use roads, the first step towards implementing the concept would be to use similar transport in the territory of closed facilities. Thus, for example, by the year 2018, the first driverless buses will have appeared in business parks, exhibition centers, scientific research townships, museum complexes, airports. They will be irreplaceable not only for tourist itineraries in the environment protection zones but also for carriage of goods under severe and hazardous conditions.