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The 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show shouldn’t disappoint car fans, with new models for 2015, 2016 and beyond, as well as forward-thinking concepts for the automobile of tomorrow. Getting a lot of attention at the Frankfurt auto show was the Porsche Mission E, a futuristic, sleek, fully electric sports car from the German luxury car maker. Unlike anything on the road at the moment, it has no rear view mirrors, but instead relies on cameras to cover the blind spots. Capable of travelling 500 km on a single charge, it can replenish its batteries within minutes.

“We have accidents, we have traffic jams, we have pollution, and this can be solved by public transport. Unfortunately, public transport with drivers cannot solve everything and the missing piece to solve all these problems are automated vehicles,” says Carlos Holguin, project manager of CityMobil2.

The buses, which are built by French manufacturer Robosoft, are 5 meters long and 1.5 meters wide and can carry up to 10 people. They travel at a speed of about 20 km/hour and run along a 2.4 km route. The vehicles are equipped with an advanced GPS and a laser mapping system for localization and movement control. Laser and ultrasound technologies are used to detect obstacles. Each bus is powered by twelve batteries, which need around two hours to charge.

“It runs on an electric motor. The position is provided by laser-guided GPS. We have mapped the city and the bus follows the planned route centimeter by centimeter. If it meets an obstacle along the way, it is equipped with a laser security system that makes it either slow down or stop altogether,” says head technician on the project, Vasilis Karavidas.

Local authorities have launched a public awareness campaign to inform prospective passengers and motorists, even though some chose to ignore the directives and use the specially equipped bus lane anyway.

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