(Yicai Global) Aug. 16 -- A 12-meter purely electric smart bus Hunan CRRC Times Electric Vehicle Co. (CRRC Times Electric Vehicle) developed has started road testing in Zhuzhou in China's east-central Hunan province.
CRRC Times Electric Vehicle is a subsidiary of CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co. under CRRC Corp. [SHA:601766].
CRRC Times Electric Vehicle officially launched its smart bus together with its latest-generation power system on July 18.
The bus accomplished towing, braking, steering, lane-changing and parking in driverless mode in an Aug. 15 demonstration.
The bus is equipped with the fifth-generation purely electric driving system platform T Power CRRC Times Electric Vehicle independently developed. An insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) chip -- a three-terminal power semi-conductor used as an electronic switch that combines high efficiency and fast switching -- lies at the core of this system. The chip finds wide application in variable-speed devices, including electric cars and trains, refrigerators, air-conditioners and stereos, etc. CRRC independently designed and produced all electronic control units within the system with a world-leading level of automation.
In the 30 years since the advent of IGBT, such manufacturing powerhouses as the US, Germany and Japan have until recently monopolized the technology. CRRC Times Electric Vehicle acquired the UK's Dynex Technologies Ltd. in 2008 and thereafter established the Times Electric Power Semiconductor R&D Centre in Lincoln, UK to develop high-pressure IGBT chip technology and next-generation IGBT devices.
CRRC Times Electric Vehicle independently developed and produced the 8-inch IGBT chip over six years in China with full intellectual property rights. All Chinese high-speed trains employ the chip in multiple-unit train control.
The smart bus is one of the exemplars of CRRC Times Electric Vehicle's cutting-edge technology. In auto mode, no driver is needed for operation throughout the entire process, and the bus can complete a series of test items on true road conditions. It will soon go into service plying actual bus routes for ongoing testing.