In the previous parts of this blog series I have described the smart management of public transportation by means of electric vehicles that could be powered when moving or when during a short pause at a recharging station. Smart public transportation can be achieved by means of added features from electronic technology, such as recharging of batteries or by means of using additional sources of renewable energy like the solar energy, which can be utilized in presence of the sunlight that impacts the vehicle during the daylight hours while on the road. Recently a further step in this direction has been taken in Amsterdam, Holland, where the Daimler Company has introduced the semi-autonomous bus (see Figure 1):
“No mirrors, but piles of forward- and backward-looking cameras, long- and short-range radar along with high-precision GPS – these sensors create a exact 260-degree virtual image of the surroundings. This equipment enables Daimler’s newly-designed Future Bus to roll along a 20-km track (about 12.5 miles) through the city traffic of Amsterdam without driver intervention.” (Source: EETimes Europe)
The “Mercedes-Benz’s CityPilot autonomous bus technology just got a real-world, long-range test drive on the streets and highways of the Netherlands.” (Source: engadget)
The contribution of electronics technology to this type of solution is important, ranging from the camera able to recognize pedestrians and vehicles, to the microprocessors which process the data gathered from the sensors and thus drive the actuators of the smart vehicle:
“Canadian solid-state advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) LiDAR specialist LeddarTech has unveiled key insights about its LeddarCore IC roadmap, which aims to enable low-cost, high-performance solid-state LiDARs for multiple automotive safety applications, from ADAS to autonomous driving.
This next-generation LeddarCore ICs enables: Affordable ADAS and autonomous functions, where LiDAR replaces or complements camera and/or radar; High-density 3D point cloud LiDAR for higher levels of autonomous driving; Support for both flash and beam steering LiDAR.” (Source: ITS International)
There are many large companies in the electronics sector producing ICs for autonomous driving, among whom there is Texas Instruments. See their app note entitled, Scalable electronics driving autonomous vehicle technologies (see Figure 2):
”A functional view of the data flow in an autonomous car’s sensing and control system.” (Source: Texas Instruments Application Note )
What do you think about the autonomous bus idea? Do you think it will be a good solution for smart transportation inside urban areas, saving fuel and, hence, reducing pollution? Do you think this technology perfectly matches IoT technology for the smart transportation in smart cities?