Automated Electric Buses on the Seine

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Automated Electric Buses on the Seine

The automated bus on the Charles de Gaulle bridge that connects Lyon and Austerlitz stations is the talk of the town. On the eastern side of the bridge, a lane accommodates a minibus that can take six people at a time for a short 200-meter trip across the bridge. This electric bus created by the Easymile Company drives using a GPS pre-programmed route, taking the bus back and forth across the bridge. With five sensors spanning the body and roof, the bus senses the road and stops on its own—avoiding collisions. It’s free to ride until April 7 this year between 14:00 and 20:00. The RATP (Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports), who purchased the bus, is currently conducting trial runs with the goal of putting the bus into practical use. The next test run will be on the route between Vincennes and the zoo, and the company will gather opinions and reactions of commuters to improve this new transport system.

Text by Masae Takada

© Olivier Bardina Two buses operate over the bridge, and two recharging stations will soon be available. Each bus has a maximum speed of 40km/hour, but the current operating speed is 9km/hour.
© Olivier Bardina The sensors react to pigeons and falling leaves, so they still need some fine tuning. However, drivers provide help with this problem now.
© Olivier Bardina At the entrance to the bus there are three buttons, one for opening the door, another for wheelchairs, and a third for emergencies.  Anyone can ride and long as they sign a register.  Currently 300 to 700 people a day are using the bus.

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