In the city of Zhengzhou, lives a small island surrounded by popular tourist destination Longzi Lake. It has become known as “Intelligent Island” as the government along with telecom companies China Unicom and China Mobile have brought to it superfast 5G networking. The speed of 5G has allowed for a cutting edge project to take place.
Chinese manufacturer Yutong Bus is testing four electric self-driving buses on the island. The buses, called Xiaoyu, operate off of a cloud platform geared towards autonomous driving. It involves real-time monitoring of vehicle and road conditions along with up to date three-dimensional maps of the area. The speed of the 5G network enables the bus to receive this information without delay.
The Xiaoyu buses are about 15 feet long and can go up to speeds of 12 mph. They can travel about 125 miles on a single charge. With no steering wheel nor cockpit, each air-conditioned bus simply features eight spacious seats.
5G Autonomous Bus Can Change Lanes and Stop at Stations
Onboard sensors, laser radar, and cameras help the vehicle navigate along its route and react to traffic and pedestrians. Like a normal bus, it can change lanes, pass other vehicles, stop at stations, drive through intersections, avoid obstacles and apply emergency brakes if necessary.
While the buses are completely autonomous, two staff members are aboard in case an emergency arises or if riders have any questions. In case of an emergency, the staff member can press the “emergency brake button” next to the door to stop the vehicle. The buses will be traveling along a circular line around the island. The line is about 1 mile long and includes 7 traffic lights and 3 smart bus stops.
Self-Driving Bus Can Be Controlled in Real Time Over 5G
The bus can be monitored and controlled remotely. Thanks to 5G, Yutong employees can see real-time 360 video of the inside and outside of the vehicle. They can also start the vehicle, control the air conditioner and even remotely drive if need be. This couldn’t have been done without the speed of 5G.
Yutong plans to soon add four sightseeing buses to a route around a nearby island park along with having the self-driving buses travel around the 6-mile outer ring of the island.