Automatic pilot for buses: a Brazilian reality 2008-36-0088
The Magnetic Guidance System - MGS - is a control system, developed in Brazil, for use in urban bus corridors known as “BRT - Bus Rapid Transit Corridors”. MGS technology can be applied to any kind of vehicle and aims to minimize the lane width (thus diminishing the expropriate costs and urban space impact), to raise the transport capacity (through the increase of the average speed) and to improve passenger accessibility (because the MGS stops in a uniform and small distance from the bus platform in a repetitive fashion during all the operation time, procedure known as “Precision Docking”). In the actual stage MGS does the lateral guidance of the vehicle and the human driver controls the speed using the conventional accelerator and brake pedals. When the lateral automatic guidance is active, MGS controls the steering system of the vehicle using a magnetic track as reference (the magnetic track is a sequence of discrete magnets spaced from 1m to 2m in the pavement). So, MGS function is to maintain the vehicle centered and aligned, below a tolerance margin, to the magnetic track. This work gives a general view about the developed technology and the practical results achieved with MGS operation at the Tiradentes Express Corridor, in Sao Paulo city.