Driven

A day doesn’t go past when you don’t run into a story about self-driving vehicles.  My read this morning included this one.

Self-Driving Trucks

The estimate is in 5 to 10 years.  We’ve still got a way to go.

We read constantly about self-driving cars and the advantages that they will have on safety.  Good enough.

My question is – why haven’t we heard about this option – self-driving school buses>

Of all the driving options, it seems to me this would be one of the easiest to program.

  • The bus takes exactly the same route every day with the stops at exactly the same place at the same time
  • Students could call into a central service to let the bus know that they’re sick and a stop at their house isn’t needed
  • The same principles of driving for the other options would apply – stay in the lane, look out for deer, etc.
  • The bus would have to be programmed to stop and put that barrier out in front of it and turn the lights on
  • Students would have to board within a certain time period – stepping on a floor censor would close the bus door
  • Cameras on front and back could nail people who ignore the flashing lights
  • Cameras inside which are already in place would ensure student behaviour
  • The same logic that transport trucks and cars have for weather conditions could be used to adjust the bus
  • The bus would just stop at the school and students get off
  • The bus could actually auto park itself at the schooland there’s no need for an offsite storage of it and the traditional drivers’ cars during a route

So, I wonder why school buses haven’t been part of this discussion?

Is it because we’re not ready, as a society, to allow the transportation of our most precious cargo.  If that’s the case, is it somehow more acceptable to allow them to go barreling down the 401 where traffic and conditions can pose all kinds of challenges?  There might be kids in those cars too.

If we’re in for a penny, shouldn’t we be in for a dime?

I like new technologies as much as the next person but let’s look at the complete picture.

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2 thoughts on “Driven

  1. I wonder about the economical implication of these. If they’re self-driving, would bus drivers make the same salary as they do now?

    It is interesting to wonder though why these self-driving buses haven’t been invented yet.

    Aviva

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  2. Seems like a natural. It takes a lot of training to be a bus driver but the pay is not so good. One thing that would have to happen is regular maintenance checks. The really hard part of the bus driver test is doing the safety check before a run (I went through the training in part once). I suspect a few very well trained people could do that each day. It would mean fewer people than required to drive. They could be held to higher standards and be better paid as well. Still this would probably save money.

    And fewer union problems as well. We’ve come close to some driver strikes near me recently and the idea is scary.

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