Adorned with the cute and loveable appearance of a giant panda, a multi-functional AI-based autonomous driving bus has attracted widespread attention in east China's Jiangsu province.
The black-and-white "panda bus," measuring 12 meters long, was developed and launched by DeepBlue Technology, China's leading artificial intelligence (AI) firm.
The 22-seat bus, launched over the weekend in Changzhou, is equipped with more than 20 intelligent technologies, including self-driving, biometric identification system, autopilot, voice interaction and an intelligent unmanned retail system to name a few.
Passengers can get on the bus by simply swiping their hands through a fingerprint recognition system. They can also buy breakfast and dinner on the bus at the unmanned retail container installed inside the bus, which can cater to passengers' demands for food during the morning and evening peak hours.
Meanwhile, an onboard robot can communicate with passengers through a voice interaction function and help them plan their routes while informing them of possible transfer stations.
Apart from that, the onboard robot will monitor and record any suspicious behavior in real time and initiate an emergency response so as to prevent theft.
Wang Xinlei, chief strategy officer of DeepBlue Technology, said the smart bus driven by lithium iron phosphate batteries can switch between manned and unmanned driving. While in the unmanned driving mode, the bus can identify the route and diagnose road conditions with the help of the advanced computer vision and fusion algorithms and drive-by-wire technology.
"We have conducted trial operations of the smart bus in several cities. So far, there are two smart panda buses in the city of Changzhou," said Wang.
The two smart panda buses will run in a range of a 5-km-long area in the Changzhou Science and Education Town at a speed of 30 km per hour. Some 40 bus shifts are scheduled for each day, according to Wang.