Sri Lanka considering driverless high-tech traffic buses: minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in talks with a private technology group to set up a traffic route in the city using modern driverless buses in a bid to modernize public transport, Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardana has said.

“We are in talks with a Trace City technology group to start a modern city bus service,” Minister Gunawardana told EconomyNext.

“The buses will only have one driver. But current laws do not allow the operation of driverless public buses. We need to change the law.

Circular buses usually run in both directions on a circular route, they have simplified charging. Two routes can intersect, much like how MRT systems work.

Sri Lanka has a tightly regulated public bus service with a bewildering array of routes. State regulations generally stifle innovation. Due to strict regulations including price regulation, three wheel taxis in Sri Lanka have exploded.

Until a recent monetary collapse, the worst in the history of the island’s middle regime central bank, which destroyed the living standards of the population more than in previous crises, the buses were losing customers to three-wheeled taxis and private transport, mainly motorcycles.

The quality of public buses is low – except on the highways – due to regulated pricing and a rigid licensing system, critics say.

Three-wheeled taxis, on the other hand, were a rapid innovation in carpooling. (Colombo/October 27, 2022)

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