According to the manufacturer, CRRC Electric Vehicle Co Ltd, smart electric buses made in China will begin regular passenger service on open roads in Paris, France, in the autumn of next year.
According to the report, demand for environmentally friendly public transportation vehicles is increasing in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe.
China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, the country’s train manufacturer, has a manufacturing unit in Hunan province that specialises in electric and gas-powered hybrid vehicles.
Last week, it put a 12-meter-long self-driving bus through its paces in Paris. The bus was imported into France by Clement Bayard, a French company.
On Friday, the autonomous vehicle completed a 6-kilometer stretch of the 393 bus route in southeast Paris. The bus passed through 26 traffic lights and 10 bus stops in about 40 minutes.
The trial’s results were “more than positive,” according to Benjamin Joliviere, head of RATP’s autonomous bus project in the French capital. According to him, it was the first time in France that a self-driving bus operated on a regular bus route.
During the trial run, Francois Yann, a RATP bus driver, sat in the driver’s seat. “After we completed the training and observed the vehicle in action, we found the performance to be quite reassuring,” he explained. “It reminds us of a technology we fantasised about as children. And now it’s all coming together…”
According to Peng Zhichuan, director of automation technology at CRRC Electric Vehicle, the bus features real-time processing of information about people, vehicles, and road conditions, ensuring safety and improving driving efficiency.
“The Chinese technology has been adapted to the French market in collaboration between our company and RATP,” said Christelle Tang, president of Clement Bayard.
A number of Chinese cities, including Beijing, Wuxi, Jiangsu province, and Changsha, Hunan province, have held smart bus demonstrations in recent years. The trial operations of Shanghai’s first autonomous bus line began last month in the Lin-gang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, according to CRRC Electric Vehicle.
In mid-August, the public was able to ride the 8.5-kilometer loop line with eight platforms. A bus ride takes 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
According to a statement from CRRC Electric, the autonomous vehicles can automatically respond to traffic lights, pull over, and open and close their doors.
Chinese companies are attempting to capitalise on related commercial opportunities as a result of the rapid adoption of digital, intelligent, and green technologies in the transportation sector. According to Luo Renjian, a researcher at the Institute of Transportation Research, which is part of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic regulator, they are pioneering a new wave of technological breakthroughs and adopting new business models and formats to promote sustainable growth of the transportation industry around the world.