The Atlantic's CityLab has an interesting look at the future of urban transportation, including electric buses - Meet the High-Tech Buses of Tomorrow.
While many speculate that the autonomous vehicle technology now being pioneered by the likes of Tesla, Google, Uber, and (maybe!) Apple could spell the end of public transit, others are convinced of the opposite: AVs may roll out first not in private vehicles but in shared, public ones—driverless buses with sensors and artificial intelligence behind the wheel. In fact, some are already being tested in a handful of cities, from Helsinki, Finland, to Washington, D.C., to the city-state Singapore.
Among the vehicles vying to lead the autonomous bus race is Olli, a self-driving electric minibus from the Arizona-based Local Motors. It’s the first of its kind to use IBM’s cognitive Watson technology to interact with passengers. The bus can be summoned in Uber-like fashion, can answer questions about routes and nearby attractions, and could eventually personalize the trip by linking with the passengers’ social media accounts.