Imagine the perfect PUV driver: He drives at manageable speeds, he’s punctual, and perhaps most important, he always checks his side mirrors before making a move. Does he exist around these parts? Possibly. Though we reckon there aren’t enough of them around yet for us to notice.
Why bring this up? Well, we really hope the local PUV scene can get its act together soon because it’s looking entirely possible that machines may one day take over. Over in South Korea, Hyundai is already set to deploy its own autonomous shuttle service aptly called ‘RoboShuttle.’
The service will use Hyundai H350 units with level 4 autonomous driving technology. Essentially, these vehicles can scan their surroundings, and maneuver and make decisions on their own. A driver will still be present, though, for safety reasons, and the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport labels these rides as level 3 autonomous vehicles.
Passengers simply need to book a shuttle and choose a pick-up point, after which one of the service’s self-driving shuttles will head on over to fetch them via a path determined by AI algorithms.
RoboShuttle will initially only cover 20 stops over a 6.1km route from the Sejong Government Complex to Sejong National Arboretum, so you could consider it more of a baby step than a game-changer. Still, it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.
These self-driving shuttle will begin test operations as early as August 9, 2021. Think we’ll see something similar here in the Philippines one day?
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