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SAIC demonstrates its autonomous shuttle at UC Davis’ West Village

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San Jose-based Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation’s (SAIC) Innovation Centre has been demonstrating its automated, all-electric shuttle around a defined loop of the solar-panel-lined in University of California, Davis’ West Village neighbourhood.

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This arrangement which is a part of an agreement between the auto company and UC Davis, provides researchers with the Institute of Transportation Studies, or ITS-Davis, and its China Centre for Energy and Transportation an opportunity to conduct perceptional and behavioural surveys among residents and shuttle riders.

“We want to see how residents respond to the vehicle before and after their experience with it to see if there are attitudinal changes,” said Yunshi Wang, Director of the UC Davis China Centre for Energy and Transportation. “We'd like to better understand how people embrace or resist vehicles like this and their potential to help with ride sharing or carpooling.”

The six-passenger shuttle was built in California for a Silicon Valley subsidiary of SAIC Group, which is one of the largest Chinese automaker and also a partner to General Motors and Volkswagen in China. The autonomous shuttle also has a professional driver on board ready to assist at all times. Operating only in daylight at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour, the shuttle takes a 1.3-mile route along Tilia, Sage, Hutchison and Celadon streets.

The shuttle will initially carry SAIC personnel. Provided initial demonstrations are successful, it will expand to transporting passengers along the route.

“SAIC's Silicon Valley Innovation Centre is glad to bring our shared automated shuttle to UC Davis to help advance greener and more user-centred mobility,” said Maxwell Huang, President of SAIC USA and SAIC IC/VC. “The project reflects the four pillars of our corporation's strategy: electrification, connectivity, intelligence and new mobility services.”

ITS-Davis' “3 Revolutions” initiative identifies autonomous, shared and electric vehicles as being the three synchronised revolutions needed to bring about a safer, more efficient and cheaper transportation future. The autonomous, electric shuttle incorporates each of those concepts. Researchers want to better understand the factors behind the public's acceptance and perceptions of the new technology.

“UC Davis is a living laboratory for the transformations occurring today in new mobility,” said Professor Dan Sperling, Director of ITS-Davis. “The path to sustainable transportation is in shared rides via pooling, exemplified by this pilot project in partnership with SAIC.”


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SAIC demonstrates its autonomous shuttle at UC Davis’ West Village
Modified on Tuesday 9th April 2019
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