Trolley-Gosh! Self Driving Public Transit Makes Debut

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Trolley-Gosh! Self Driving Public Transit Makes Debut

Schuyler Dubitsky, Reporter

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NEWSROOM- In 2018, we seldom view any sort of technology as “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking.”  We have become desensitized to the technological marvels which we have at our fingertips because they are so common-place. 

In Potsdam, Germany, however, a new technology has developed which will change the way public transportation is used forever.  Just this year, the technology company Siemens created the first automatic trolly.

Something scientists and engineers have been working on for some time, self driving vehicles are a dream for the future, and something which will change not just the economy but day to day life for people.  Known as Combino, the tram had its debut in 2018.  Possessing LiDAR (radar and camera sensors), the Combino is able to not only complete programmed tasks, but adapt to complex and in-the-moment situations.

To test the Combino’s capabilities, workers from Siemens pushed an empty baby carriage into the street in front of the trolly.  Combino’s breaks were immediately activated when the its sensors picked up on the object, stopping any damage from being done.

The Guardian had a journalist take a ride and the report was that the trolly felt nearly identical to one driven by a person.  

“Truth be told, it does looks rather underwhelming, a normal low-floor tram, but closer up you see all the discreet technology like the sensors, and to see it tackle real-time traffic and to think this is the future, it’s a bit like what it must have been to witness the transition from horse-drawn to steam trams or gas to electric,” The Guardian quotes in their story.

While we may be desensitized to the amazing innovations in the world around us, we cannot help but appreciate the technological miracles happening before our very eyes.

Story by Schuyler Dubitsky, Reporter

Edited by Ted Frascella, Editor-in-Chief

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