Self driving cars have been at the center of many people's attention in the past year, but while a number of companies are experimenting to introduce this feature in individual cars, the implications that this technology could bring to public transport have not received much coverage. This is where Italian researchers Tommaso Gecchelina and Emmanuele Spera fit in with their project "Next."
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The researchers have been developing a concept that involves self-driving pods that could be used for public transportation through an app that lets you set a pick up point and control a variety of options while in transit. The pods can host what looks like six sitting passengers, but they connect to each other, allowing for transferring without ever having to leave the vehicle.
— NEXT Future T (@NEXTfutureT) July 13, 2015
As the project's website states:
%shareLinks-quote="Each module can join and detach with other modules on standard city roads. When joined, they create an open, bus-like area among modules, allowing passengers to stand and walk from one module to another." type="quote" author="Next" authordesc="" isquoteoftheday="false"%
The pods are electric, defining not only a new way to commute socially, but also a green means of transportation that has a much lesser impact on the environment. The current design is the outcome of two previous iteration of the pods, which can now host more people and have a longer longitudinal shape.
Here is the full YouTube video the startup posted to demo the concept:
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