|Muji had design its own self-driving car called Gacha Shuttle Bus which is suitable for all weather conditions / Photo by Nick-D via Wikimedia Commons|
Muji is a company that is well known for their minimalistic approach to their products, whether it be food, clothing, or even their brand design. Recently, the Japanese brand has dabbled in something else entirely: the self-driving car industry. This comes in the form of an electric mini bus that can make its way around different cities in the world. This new concept is designed to be an all-weather vehicle that can take a person from point A to point B completely on its own.
This new vehicle, called the Gacha Shuttle Bus, would be the very first electric self-driving vehicle that could take on practically all weather conditions and was created from a partnership between Muji and Sensible 4, a company that specializes in self-driving technology. This new bus concept by Muji is different from most of the others in the market, as other concepts generally focus on vehicles that drive in warm climates and temperate weather conditions as most heavy weather conditions -- like snow, rain, or fog -- are still a problem for autonomous cars. This new bus was designed to reach remote areas or areas that are populated by senior citizens. It can withstand and was created to fight off all types of weather conditions, capable of going about its business despite bad weather. This can find opportunity in cold areas like Finland, where the bus was originally conceptualized and was built under Arctic conditions. The Gacha Shuttle Bus can hold up to 10 passengers, as well as six more if they are willing to stand. The hand rails and large digital displays show where the bus is heading. This is all to make the bus both user-friendly as well as simple, to make anyone who uses it feel comfortable.
The current plan is that this vehicle will be revealed in March 2019 in Helsinki, Finland, with official operations to start around 2020 after it has been tested in different cities.