05 Oct 2017

Shuttle: Mini-Bus of Tomorrow


KAMAZ and the NAMI Research Centre work towards development of unmanned Shuttle bus. This latest unique solution has been originally demonstrated at the Moscow International Automobile Salon and excited huge interest. Shuttle can become a basis for a brand new public transport system.

As distinct from conventional buses with pre-approved routes, Shuttle will be capable of laying the route in real time. A special mobile application will be used to specify the destination point, and the passenger's location will be determined by the telephone location data. When calling the vehicle the user can also select the mode: taxi or public transport. According to experts, the lack of any public transport stops and fixed routes will allow to eventually eliminate traffic jams as the number of personal cars will decrease significantly in the streets.

Length of the unmanned mini-bus is 4.6 m, width – 2 m, height – 2.5 m. Futuristic design of the body made of composite materials on a metal base can accommodate 12 passengers (including 6 seats). Sliding doors open on both sides for convenient entering and leaving the bus. The passenger compartment has plasma screens where the route and other useful information can be displayed.

It is expected that commercial output of Shuttle buses will be based at KAMAZ facilities which is the main industrial partner of this project. Shuttle development requires the rich experience of the auto giant from Naberezhnye Chelny in the field of building and developing vehicles with independent control. For the time being, KAMAZ and NAMI continue the R&D work on the project and carry out pilot operation of the Shuttle buses.

But, as was noted by the industry's experts, development of an unmanned vehicle is not enough. It requires an infrastructure and changes in the legislation as today there is no legal system governing the operation of unmanned vehicles on public roads in Russia. Therefore, the first step will be the use of such transport means at confined facilities. It is assumed that unmanned buses will first appear in business parks, at exhibition centres, science cities, museum complexes, airports.