China to introduce a Robotic Electromagnetic Bus

China might be the first country in the world to introduce magnetic levitation robotic bus in Shanghai.
Traffic congestion in China’s big cities and in Shanghai in particular became a big problem in recent years. Officials in China have been looking for innovative transportation technologies for some time now. Electromagnetic levitation in particular has been developed in China (with western assistance) quite a lot in the past decade. After about 3 years of construction, the Shanghai Maglev train was finally opened in 2004.

Although it only travels between two stations (Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the outskirts of central Pudong) on a route of about 19 miles, it is the fastest  train in regular commercial service reaching a top speed of 268 mph (or 431 km/h).
Apparently now the Chinese government is looking to expend the electromagnetic public transportation initiative into futuristic busses that will allow passenger to travel within Shanghai using a robotic green vehicle.  
The Electromagnetic Bus will require special magnetic units buried inside the road on specific routes where the bus will be able to travel. The bus will have a range of sensors that will allow it to stay on course and avoid hitting objects on the rood. Maybe the most ambitious part of the project has to do with the fact that the bus will not have a human driver but instead will be completely autonomous.
The electromagnetic bus is still in the feasibility study stage and it might take a while until it will actually materialize, but if it will, it might enhance the efficiency of public transport in Shanghai in the future.

TFOT previously covered the French maglev train – the V-150 which broke the train speed record back in 2007 as well as the “Peugeot Magnet” which was one of the 29 finalists at the 5th Peugeot Design Contest This concept car offered an environmentally friendly car with a sustainable design.


A 2009 video showing how the Shanghai Maglev Transrapid works

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