Driverless bus project launched

FULLY autonomous driverless buses could be operating on Guernsey’s roads in a few years’ time, if a project launched by a new locally-based company comes to fruition.

Driverless Bus images supplied by Jenny Ozanne
A computer mock-up showing how a driverless bus might look in Guernsey. The vehicle pictured would be capable of taking up to 15 passengers.

ShuttleBuzz Ltd wants to set up a ‘driverless ride-sharing’ service in the island, and is looking for local companies to provide backing for a feasibility study.

The company’s Jenny Ozanne said that the idea came about after she and her husband, Andrew Bull, attended a talk by Professor Nick Reed, academy director for the Transport Research Laboratory.

He expressed the view that there would be a market for driverless vehicles in the island and referred to the Gateway Project in the UK – Greenwich Automated Transport Environment – which has been running trials in the London borough to gauge how people react to fully autonomous vehicles.

Ms Ozanne said that it was this talk that inspired her and Mr Bull to set up ShuttleBuzz.

Now the company is hoping to run on-road trials here, given some of the unique aspects to driving in the island such as filters-in-turn and the occasional need to mount the kerb to avoid wide vehicles.

Ms Ozanne said that they would like to see their buses – all of which will be electrically-powered – coping with all the roads in the island: ‘We will be aiming to get it to run on small roads [as well as main roads] but I don’t think that is going to be possible at the beginning,’ she said.

For more information and contact details visit ShuttleBuzz’s website – www.shuttlebuzz.co.uk.

Comments for: "Driverless bus project launched"

Muzeek

NO, no, no, I just dont believe it.

Loveridge

Any guesses how much the States will be asked to contribute to this?

'Ms Ozanne said that they would like to see their buses – all of which will be electrically-powered – coping with all the roads in the island.'

Slightly premature. Unless Ms Ozanne has actually paid out for two or more.

Vivica

Who cares - the States already pay out for a bus service as is.

At least these can be smaller and won't be able to get lost!

Lower running costs, smaller vehicles, and no human element so there's the opportunity for 24 hour services.

I'm all in favour.

#gashtag

Someone with an eye to the future unlike a lot of cave dwellers here.

#gosmallergoelectric

Insider

One way to stop the drivers from striking...

markB

Looking for backing?? that will be a tough one!!

Island Wide Voting

Talking of 'backing' I wonder who would be expected to reverse into a gateway if you met a driverless vehicle in a narrow lane?

Vivica

Yes, yes, YES!!!

Now watch Guernsey folk shut this down.

We don't even have Google Streetview because some backwards locals had "privacy concerns"...

GR

I think you will find that lil' ol' Guernsey isn't the only place in the World with no Google Streetview, try Switzerland and Germany, I'm there are others too

Alvin

I use Google street view very often in Switzerland to find out where I am going or to decide on a location of a hotel that I plan to use. Works very well in most areas. Have also used it in Germany.

tothevale

The reason we don't have Street View was purely down to the then Data Commissioner who too ka view on privacy. You may or may not remember that at the time Google was collecting data from open home wifis.

It wasn't 'backwards locals' thank you very much; it was a government staffer that stopped it.

Insider

oh.. and the fact yocals trashed their cars..

dc

An excellent idea that will not doubt be stamped out by Deputy Baz to protect CT Plus! Given the number of empty buses that trundle round the island outside of peak travel this would make a great deal of sense assuming the technology could handle local conditions!

Vivica

Exactly, that would be my only concern... Dealing with roads without any markings etc.

dc

If it was used as a park and ride from strategic points this may well work, if there was a political and social will to push it through.

Given the other headline of another £300K spent on supporting the oversized pollution belching buses why not inject funds to get this up and running even on a limited scheme.

markB

Interesting idea!!... But how will they cope with a filter in-turn, especially when a indecisive human being is brought in to the equation?? and who will wash them out after a drunk has left a pavement pizza all over the interior.

And will Taxi drivers sabotage them???

carolfromtheblock

Get real , some people watch to much Star Trek , that will never happen

dc

Yeah because nothing on Star Trek has turned into reality!

http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/10-star-trek-technologies.htm

carolfromtheblock

did you think through your initials ?

MGSYJ

It's a good thing not everyone thinks like you...otherwise we'd still be living in caves

carolfromtheblock

thats a shame

Sam

Fantastic idea - hope it gets the support it requires and the hurdles can be overcome.

A fleet of these ferrying kids to school, or those that struggle to drive due to age or other mobility related issues would be great. If the cost could pitch in making them a (hopefully) effective alternative to taxis and buses they would be awesome.

Definitely some localisation issues and technical challenges to overcome i'm sure, but lets hope they concept is well supported, investigated and not shot down before it even starts.

Toby

The bus in the picture is about to drive straight into a bollard ..... fills me with confidence ......

Roger Irrelevant

...and has been overtaken by a bike

Saints

This has just been featured on Jersey News and Ms. Ozanne wants the States (i.e. us taxpayers) to fund a feasibility study.

What planet do these people live on????

GR

This sort of technology while interesting is years away, probably 10 plus at the very least, from being fully useable on public roads. The GATEWAY project mentioned in the article is only operating trials on dedicated mixed use areas around Greenwich which are basically pedestrian/bicycle areas and not on public roads, they also have someone on board to take control if needed.

There are a whole raft of legal and social acceptance hurdles to overcome before these things get out of the lot, such as liability in an accident, not only for third party property but also for passengers other road users etc.

Sisyphus

Last time I used Google Maps, I was pointed to a location just off the coast at Havelet.

No ta.

Saints

I hasten to add the figure mentioned for this study was £40K.

Alvin

It all sounds so very nice but I can not see it happening for many decades to come - and so I would not advise investing in this scheme.

However, I can quite imagine that the States might be daft enough to put up money to research this.

What I am really amazed at is the amount of coverage that the GP is giving !! Front page and Page 3 ??

Are the project instigators and the editorial staff best of friends or what ???

Le Crouset

I realise that the picture is only a computer mock up, but why so many Royal Terraces? Surely one would suffice.

I agree on the point raised regarding the filters, these things wouldn't last a week.

Rupert Walthumstow

When was the last time you went to town? They've not mocked up anything regarding the buildings in the background, that's exactly how it looks these days!

Atlast

I suppose 'driverless' and 'States' do associate well. Considering the confusion caused to drivers by the frequent diversions in place (with their crafted hand-written signs) - just imagine how a binary computer would react. Chaos perhaps?

Kittycat

As long as they remember to programme them correctly when diversions are in place there should be no problem at all. We already have GPS traffic technology so if there's a road accident or just bad traffic somewhere your computer will tell you and advise you to go a different way - this wouldn't be that different.

Flabergasted

In place of the 'Hand Crafted' signs I suppose that they could always use proper printed signs that would be used only once and then binned once the job was complete. At least the hand written ones can be wiped down & re-used saving a lot of money.

Atlast

Trouble is, they seldom take you where you want to go. And I'm not sure what you are going on about regarding printed signs. 'DIVERSION' with an arrow is re-usable.

Muzeek

Bet our local advocates are looking forwards to the many law suits coming their way, for death and destruction.

Kittycat

One of the selling points of driverless cars is the safety element. There are far fewer accidents. I can't see how a driverless bus would be all that different.

Kittycat

I don't think this is as far away as people think - driverless cars are already around and it won't be long before they're considered the norm (although they're still pretty pricey at the moment).

I'd say these would definitely be worth investing in as potentially they could be the answer to all our current bus problems - they could run much more frequently, much earlier and later, will be smaller and more agile by the looks of things, and the human error element will be eliminated so there'll be vastly fewer bus related road accidents. Sounds great to me!

markB

Human error? what about software error?

Election Issues

Paris has begun an experiment with a driverless bus service for a three month trial. Two electric shuttle buses will transport passengers between Lyon and d'Austerlitz railway stations.

The cube shaped EZ10 vehicles can carry up to 12 passengers and are guided along preprogrammed routes using an array of cameras, GPS, lasers and other light detection technology. These buses will travel the 130m test route within safety lanes.

Could cause trouble for bus drivers and car body repair work then!

However there are problems for these vehicles as it is difficult for them to drive in heavy rain or snow and they are not too good at reading hand signals. There are also security considerations involved in automation of driving so automakers will be held accountable for exploitable software bugs which are vulnerable to hacking!!!!

islander54

Great idea for Jersey to trial it first, when it's working perfect in a number of decades we can take it on.

There is no way Guernsey should be putting money into an aspect of this unitl it is working without a hitch somewhere with more money to waste.

Oskar

At the risk of being branded a Luddite, can I just point out that while the States in their infinite wisdom have decided that we must all work until we are 70 before we can retire, the world around us is increasingly introducing technology that negates the need for human involvement.

You can go to supermarkets and scan & pay for your purchases without engaging with shop staff, you can get money out of a hole in the wall without needing a bank clerk and you can even get petrol without Trev coming out to serve you! And now soon you'll be able to get a bus without a driver!

What jobs are we humans going to be doing until we're 70 if machines are doing everything for us? Look out Social Security, you could be getting a lot of customers coming your way (unless you're all replaced by machines too!)

markB

What Jobs?? Fix the machines, because they never work properly.

Guernsey Fudge

Whatever next ?

Virtual polititians in the States Chamber ?

markB

Some are virtual-ly never there.

donald

And have Condor take over its running - perfect!

Why

This is the kind of ideas that Guernsey needs post-finance, the size of our island is ideal for IT companies to use a testbeds for these kinds of projects.

Just need the likes of Google and their driverless cars to really take things up a level.