Smart Driverless Buses (The Future of Public Transport?)


The Metro Bus system in Los Angeles are due to perform a major overhaul of their current public bus system. Smart driverless buses are their plan for the future of public transport. According to the transport agency, they have noted a decrease in customers over recent years. They have merely put it down to a decrease in gas/petrol prices and a rise in car sales.

In order to combat the problem and ease congestion in the city, they have surveyed the reasons. A lot of people complain about the uncertain timing of the buses due to stopping, traffic, changing the timetables or routes and unreliability. 

Another reason on the list was security issues. According to the survey, people felt somewhat unsafe using buses as opposed to driving to and from work etc. There can be altercations or other petty crimes happening and there are no major security to combat the problem, apart from informing the driver.

One way they have began to lure back customers is to implement onboard free wifi. It has been added to 150 buses so far and will include the whole fleet by 2019. Being able to check mail, read the newspaper and chat online will hopefully entice workers to ditch the car and spend their time traveling in comfort while surfing the net.

interior of a metro bus

Eventually, they will pave the way for the driverless bus system. Smart driverless buses are the future of public transport and here are some reasons why –

A driverless bus predicts arrival times accurately

A wifi system includes a security feature to report any incident directly to police who will arrive at the next stop

Any breach of security will be recorded accurately 

A people counter will monitor how many people get on the bus and ensure no overcrowding

Extra buses can be deployed when needed automatically

Track arrival to destination times on a real-time map

Checks for road blocks, traffic updates and waiting times and informs you in good time

An application can be downloaded to chat with a customer service agent any time

Bus only lanes can predict traffic lights and work in connection with those, saving time

A safer drive, due to built in technology to combat human error on the road ( a quicker detection system )

Less likelihood of an accident 

Help with planning your trip, location and suggestions via an app

Inform the bus of a physical disability in case of a ramp being needed

Save the planet by reducing emissions and saving energy

Reduce congestion in cities with the reduction of cars on the road

a bus stop with people cut out

What do you reckon about smart driverless buses? Would you prefer the ease of use or would you miss the banter and cheery greeting from the driver? I am on the fence with this one! I like seeing a smiley face and getting a hello and a friendly goodbye when departing. 

And what about the old song, the driver on the bus? Would we have to remove that line altogether? 

Hmmm, i kinda feel the same way about the driverless taxis, I mean we all love a good banter with the taxi driver too. Don’t we? I am beginning to wonder if robots are taking over a bit much!

Are we crossing the line or should we be more concerned with the safety and convenience of driverless public transport?

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