The First Ever Driverless Bus Has Arrived In Malaysia

The autonomous bus is imported from China, and the trial is set to take place on the Sunway BRT track in October.
(credit: Rapid KL Facebook)

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The future is AI and autonomous. There’s no avoiding that. We spend so much time, money, and resources on advancing technologies so that they can make our lives better and easier. Autonomous vehicles are a common thing in other countries. The most popular ones are Tesla EV cars, but those are only partially autonomous.

Mercedes-Benz took it one step further with its Drive Pilot system. The car can drive itself up to 60 km/h and can perform evasive and braking manoeuvres without the driver’s intervention. We are off to a slow start in Malaysia, but it is better than nothing.

In a news report by The Star, Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd and eMoovit Technology Sdn Bhd exchanged a memorandum of understanding to launch Malaysia’s first-ever autonomous bus trial.

eMoovit specialises in autonomous mobility software with a focus on resolving issues in the public transportation industry.

The trial will run for a year, using an electric bus imported from China. The electric bus, which was made by Kinglong, can hold up to 25 people (standing + seated passengers).

The trial will take place on Sunway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) elevated track because it is a closed circuit, so they don’t have to worry about other vehicles and motorists on the road and it will only begin after service hours. Also, the bus will not be carrying any passengers initially.

Rapid Bus chose this autonomous bus technology to enhance the public transport sector in line with the need to increase sustainability and environmental friendliness.

The implementation of the trial will focus on the effect of autonomous electric buses on the urban transport system from a technological, social, and economic standpoint.

Rapid Bus, CEO, Muhammad Yazurin Sallij

This experiment will be a crucial step toward the improvement of self-driving buses in the future if it can be shown that they can operate safely and efficiently while reducing expenses and personnel needs.

We hope the introduction of this autonomous electric vehicle will bring benefits such as reduction of emissions, increase in service efficiency as well as energy use.

According to a recent statement from the General Insurance Association of Malaysia, more than 80% of road accidents in Malaysia are caused by driver error. This is worrisome, and our aspiration is that the use of autonomous vehicles will be able to reduce human errors.

eMoovit Technology, CEO, Dr Hairi Zamzuri

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