November 7, 2016
Robotics Startup Launches Self-Driving Shuttles at Santa Clara University
As you may know, college and university campuses are often sprawling, gigantic places.
For example, Berry College in Rome, Georgia, comprises of over 26,000 acres. This includes meadows, woodlands, streams and 47 main buildings.
While most campuses aren’t the size of Berry College, they’re still typically on a BIG scale.
Now, picture yourself as a student at a college or university. Your residence halls may be a long way from the classroom facilities. You may also have heavy books and laptops to carry with you to and from your classes. In these circumstances, walking or cycling is likely to be inconvenient (especially in bad weather).
Fortunately, there is now a cheap, clean and safe way for travelling within campuses.
Let’s jump on board and take a look…
Welcome to the Transport Revolution
California-based company Auro Robotics has spent the last few years developing 100% electric, self-driving shuttles. Excitingly, they’ve just launched their first campus shuttle trial at Santa Clara University.
It’s no exaggeration to say that their technology is truly revolutionary.
The shuttles have been designed to expertly and safely navigate busy campus pathways (see the video below), with no infrastructure changes needed by the institutions. To make this possible, the shuttles are fed a detailed 3-D map of the environment where they are required to operate. Cameras, computers, GPS, laser scanners and radar ensure that the shuttles stay safe en route at all times.
Benefits for students include:
- Mobility-impaired students can travel easily and freely throughout their campus.
- On-demand service means shuttles can be called when needed.
- Inclement weather no longer a hindrance for students, as shuttles can run in all conditions.
Benefits for colleges and universities include:
- A reduction in campus transportation operating costs.
- A reduction in the amount of cars travelling through a campus – thus cutting down on air and noise pollution.
- Fewer cars = fewer parking lots needed (these spaces can be allocated to other purposes).
The shuttles are virtually silent, and can carry up to four passengers at a time. During the night, they can be recharged and made ready for the next morning.
This is the way transportation should be. And it’s only the beginning…
Autonomous Shuttles Are Just the First Step
If the pilot scheme at Santa Clara University is successful, then no doubt, other universities around the world will be eager to join the ride.
Auro Robotics already has its eye on rolling out the shuttles to corporate parks and residential communities. It’s easy to see why, as this clean, safe transportation system delivers significant environmental and social benefits.
Finally, self-driving shuttles offer a compelling vision for public transportation. If the shuttles prove themselves on campuses, then the public may demand similar transportation options for towns and cities.
Discover more at Auro Robotics’ official website.
Craig J Todd – Freelance writer with a passion for tech, trends and simplicity.
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