Robot Shuttles and Autonomous Buses 2020-2040
IDTechEx has issued the first in-depth report on this called "Robot Shuttles and Autonomous Buses 2020-2040". Robot shuttles are an important new, reconfigurable form of transportation for goods and people that may even function as mobile offices, restaurants and more. It finds that the heart of the subject is upright, boxy, 8-20 person vehicles that are symmetrical so they never do a U turn. Small footprint, all-round vision, large doors, quiet, zero emission, they can go indoors and over piazzas and roads and are able perform many different tasks even in one day. Primarily intended for intensive urban use, they are gated to never exceed a determined speed, typically in the range 50-60 kph. It all adds up to a new form of transport backed by both huge companies like Toyota and Baidu and startups, one having raised one billion dollars for the task. Their trials explore many possible applications, from empowering the poor and disabled, to viably filing in gaps in the transportation network and replacing very underutilised vehicles such as school buses and private cars, reducing congestion and cost.