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The coronavirus pandemic upended too many norms to count, and public transportation was one of them. Now more than ever, COVID-19 has companies rethinking the way we interact, do business and, in Arrival's case, ride the a bus.
The British startup company, which focuses on smart electric vehicles, on Wednesday debuted the Arrival Bus, pitched as just the bus for social distancing. That's because the interior of the bus is customizable, with removable seats, so you can create additional space between passengers. It's a pretty novel way to increase or decrease seats to meet reopening guidelines.
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In addition to the social distancing-approved seating configuration, the bus uses touchless technology. Riders can request a stop via smartphone before they even set foot on the Arrival Bus, plexiglass screens separate riders and no-touch bells let them signal for a stop. Arrival touts seamless construction that makes the electric bus easy to disinfect as well.
Arrival Bus is public transit optimized for pandemics
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Its futuristic looks include large screens that display route information, and riders can access the info and see how many seats are available via smartphone, too. Max passenger capacity will be 125 people in the bus' largest configuration.
Like Arrival's Generation 2 electric van, which has already garnered plenty of support, the Arrival Bus will be built on the company's skateboard platform, which will create more space while keeping all the components stored in a tidy fashion within the chassis. Also as with the electric van, Arrival plans to deploy "microfactories" to build the buses in the areas where they're needed. No massive supply chains and no big plants needed. All the components will be made in a small location with final assembly taking place in a local area.
Arrival promises all of its vehicles will boast a price identical to, if not lower than, traditional alternatives. It's working on bringing the Bus to market.
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