Russians Create Autonomous Bus Called Matreshka
|   Wednesday, August 31, 2016
While major car manufacturers promise the first fully autonomous vehicles by 2025, the Russians have already completed a completely autonomous minibus! From sketches to reality, the Russians from Volgabus unveiled the first smart-autonomous Matreshka, which until now could only be seen in the real world in the form of a box on wheels which was adopted for the two test prototypes. Now, the futuristic design of this vehicle inspired from the "I, Robot" film has become reality.


It's somewhat creepy to realize that this "capsule" will operate autonomously, without the driver. A place for driver does not even exist, not to mention the steering wheel and other traditional driving instruments!

The Russian bus manufacturer Volgabus from Solcovo, Moscow, unveiled their next bus called Matreshka. What is special about the Matreshka? Firstly it will not need a driver, because it has neither the steering wheel nor other driving instruments, being just a "box" with passenger seats that drives alone due to artificial intelligence!

Matreshka will have three versions created for different purposes, thanks to its modular construction. The first is the m2 platform - a mobile platform which can be used inside the plant.

The second m2с6 will be a covered chassis and can carry cargo weighing up to 1.300 kg.
The m2b8 version will act as microbus that can take on board 8 or 12 passengers. The Russian engineers developed a model that will take care of cleaning the streets at night. The "cleaning" module can be placed instead of those for passengers transporting. Thus, during the day Matreshka can carry passengers and during the night it will clean the streets. Can you imagine those vehicles driving themselves on the night streets? It sounds like something out of science fiction movies.

The modular construction will facilitate rapid change of the LiFePO4 battery of 32 kWh, which is integrated into the front and the rear modules. Also, in the front, and in the rear respectively, an electric motor of 45 kW (61 hp) and 140 Nm of torque is located.

However, if there is no need to change the batteries, that would take just 15 minutes, they can be recharged over the course of 4 hours. The range of the electric vehicle is 130 km, and top speed is limited to 30 km / h. For improved handling both axes can turn.
Matreshka is guided by artificial intelligence which makes decisions in real time by receiving information from video cameras, sensors and 3D and 2D scanners. At the emergence of an obstacle, the Matreshka will stop and then will continue on. Those from Volgabus can schedule a default route on which the Matreshka will run, monitoring 24/7 the behavior of the bus and all its components.

Volgabus Matreshka is not a project stuck at idea level. Currently, two Matreshka prototypes are tested on Volgabus' polygon and innovation center.
The first 20 copies will be produced in 2017 and they will only be seen in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, set to be held in Russia. Matreshka will play the role of transport for various soccer teams.
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