Optimus Ride is testing its self-driving shuttle in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

New York City is getting a self-driving shuttle, sort of. Optimus Ride announced plans to deploy its self-driving system at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the second quarter of this year. The vehicles will run in a closed loop on the Navy Yard's private r...

Ohio’s first self-driving shuttle service begins on December 10th

Ohio wants to be a haven for self-driving cars, and it's already acting on those plans... if slowly. Smart Columbus and DriveOhio have announced that the state's first autonomous shuttle service, Smart Circuit, will launch in Columbus on December 10...

Yes. Muji is designing self-driving buses now!

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The self-driving landscape seems perfect for a company like Muji, known for its minimalistic appeal and function-first agenda. Muji’s products look minimalist and beautiful without looking bland, and perform wonderfully for years… and the Gacha, a shuttle bus co-designed with Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4, follows that direction too, not just being innately Muji-esque, but also echoing the aesthetic direction that most self-driving cars are taking, of putting information at the forefront and dialing down the outer aesthetic of the car to make it appear more akin to a self-driving cabin/lounge.

The self-driving shuttle bus comes with a two-color exterior and a soft cuboidal form, sporting displays on the top of the windscreen as well as around the waist of the bus, displaying instructions to pedestrians on the outside. With no driver on the inside, the entire bus’s floor plan is made for 10 seated commuters and 6 standing passengers, as the bus travels from point A to B. The Gacha comes with a maximum speed of 40km/h, and even a range of a 100 kilometers on a single charge. It’s powered by a 4 wheel drive electric powertrain and a battery that can be wirelessly fast-charged.

Building the self-driving tech for the Gacha is Finland-based Sensible 4. The company is currently developing autonomous driving technology for extreme climates, including navigation and obstacle detection that can function seamlessly in heavy rain, fog, and snow–all of which are common to Finland’s climate and weather. The company is even headed to the Arctic Laplands to put the Gacha through rigorous testing. “We are developing these vehicles so that they can become part of daily transportation service chain,” says Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4. “Autonomous vehicles can’t become mainstream until their technology has been insured to work in all climates.”

The Gacha is all set to be unveiled to the public in March 2019 at an event in Helsinki if the tests

Designers: MUJI & Sensible 4

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SpaceX readies its spacecraft and astronauts for crewed missions

SpaceX's priority is to get humans into space. Eventually, some of those people will end up on Mars. For now, the rocket-launching company needs to work on getting astronauts to the ISS (International Space Station). To that end, it recently showed o...

NYT: Apple teams up with VW for self-driving shuttle vans

Apple's Project Titan efforts to develop self-driving car technology apparently have found a partner in Volkswagen, according to a report by the New York Times. While the paper said the tech company has pursued deals with BMW and Mercedes, it will ap...