A Shanghai-based AI firm has launched an autonomous electric bus that features biometric authentication and a conversational AI system.
Called the Smart Panda Bus, the solution was developed by DeepBlue Technology, a firm that has thus far demonstrated its AI prowess with smart vending machines and retail solutions. The bus of course features computer vision technology designed to facilitate its autonomous driving, but it also comes equipped with a palm recognition system for user identification, though in announcing the vehicle DeepBlue didn’t specify what particular aspects of the palm this biometric system analyzes. The built-in AI assistant, meanwhile, is designed to respond to passengers’ queries during use.
All of this represents a convergence of some of the biggest trends at the cutting edge of the tech world right now – biometric authentication, AI-driven computer vision, and conversational virtual assistants.
While the bells and whistles could help to enhance the bus’s appeal, the biggest obstacle to overcome for DeepBlue will be to establish approval from urban transportation authorities. To that end, DeepBlue said in a statement that its home city “has started making some structural changes by implementing several BRT pilot projects that aim to improve the public traffic conditions in central urban areas,” according to a statement announcing the Smart Panda Bus. And DeepBlue says its autonomous buses “have already been sold in more than 200 cities across China and 500 cities all over the world.”