Citymapper is running a two-day trial of a new Smart Bus in London. The bus will identify the needs of its users and create a travel route in order to service them.
The buses, nicknamed route ‘CMX1′ (which are currently actually minibuses), are free-to-use, to avoid the company yet having to buy a license from Transport For London, and run a set loop in the city centre.
Passengers on the bus benefit from seeing on a screen exactly where they are on route, as well as time estimations on how long the journey will take to arrive at upcoming stops. At present the buses are using existing TfL bus stops, but there’s not yet anything on them to show this – you’ll need the app for location information. And never fear if your phone battery is running low; there’s USB ports on every seat!
The bus’ driver has access to a tablet with real-time traffic information and the ability to communicate directly with Citymapper HQ. It also can redirect the driver to avoid traffic jams or disruptions, meaning a route needn’t be set in stone if it’s going to delay passengers.
Citymapper’s CEO said of the trial: “All these other things are getting smarter and better, but why aren’t buses? This is sort of like UBERPool… but you can put fifty people on it.”
Of course, you can’t – these are minibuses, there’s only capacity for 30 – but the idea of smarter bus routes definitely seems interesting.
Will you be giving the Smart Bus a go? Let us know in the comments below!
Author Lex Barber