/>
X

Join or Sign In

Register for your free ZDNet membership or if you are already a member, sign in using your preferred method below.

Use your email Use Linkedin Use Facebook

Photos: Is it a tram? Is it a train? No, it's superbus!

The techie bus that steers itself

|
nick-heath.jpg
|
40152427-1-bus1.jpg
1 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNet

The techie bus that steers itself

From later this year, commuters on the buses of Cambridge will be able to enjoy wi-fi, use Oyster-style smartcard readers - and even travel on a bus that steers itself.

The self-steering "guided buses", as seen here, can travel at up to 60mph on dedicated tracks called "guided busways" or "guideways" and are set to be introduced to the Cambridge area from late summer under an £116m scheme.

To become a guided bus, ordinary buses are fitted with two guidewheels at the front of the vehicle that can slot into the guided busways - grooved tracks that steer the bus and provide a clear route to their destination. Once they leave the guideways, the buses return to normal bus routes.

Passengers on the Cambridgeshire guided buses will be able to pay using touch-and-go smartcard tickets, similar to London's Oyster system, thanks to the smartcard readers fitted on all guided buses.

Travellers will also be able to top up the smartcards online.

Photo credit: Cambridgeshire County Council

40152427-2-bus44.jpg
2 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNet

The £116m project will build a guided busway along the route of a disused railway from St Ives to Cambridge.

A second guided busway will also be constructed to run from Cambridge Railway Station through to Addenbrooke's Hospital and Trumpington Park & Ride to the south of the city.

When completed, Cambridgeshire's guided busways will be more than 25km in length - the longest in Europe.

By 2019 the county council estimates that about 20,000 journeys per day will be made on the guided busways, as seen here.

Cambridgeshire County Council said the busways will provide a way of coping with growing travel demands, with more than 47,000 new houses expected to be built in the region by 2016.

The government will provide £92.5m towards the project and the rest of the funding will come from developers who are building new houses in the area.

The Cambridgeshire scheme will be the fifth guided busway project in the UK and councils in Luton and Dunstable and Kent Thameside are also planning similar schemes.

Photo credit: Cambridgeshire County Council

40152427-3-bus2.jpg
3 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNet

Two bus companies, Stagecoach and Whippet Coaches, will use the guided busways.

Stagecoach's new £3m fleet of 20 "guided buses" will have wi-fi access to allow travellers to check emails and browse the web, and allow the company to update bus stop information boards and travel websites with real-time journey information.

The Stagecoach buses will be able to run on 100 per cent biofuel from sustainable recycled food waste.

Photo credit: Cambridgeshire County Council

Related Galleries

First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]
california-streaming-2.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]

Toshiba laptops through the ages
screenshot-2020-08-11-at-11-52-27.png

Related Galleries

Toshiba laptops through the ages

The naughty list: Tech CEOs getting coal for Christmas
Coal

Related Galleries

The naughty list: Tech CEOs getting coal for Christmas

Tech turkeys: Apple and Google dominate the year's menu of failures
placeholder.png

Related Galleries

Tech turkeys: Apple and Google dominate the year's menu of failures

The Nightmare in Silicon Valley: 8 horror technologies that should scare you to death
try.jpg

Related Galleries

The Nightmare in Silicon Valley: 8 horror technologies that should scare you to death

2019's tech, security, and authentication trends
Tech chart graph stats

Related Galleries

2019's tech, security, and authentication trends

Carry on: Must-have minimalist travel gadgets in 2019
screenshot-2019-05-29-at-15-19-01.png

Related Galleries

Carry on: Must-have minimalist travel gadgets in 2019