Toyota has updated the Sora Fuel Cell bus (FCEV bus) with additional safety technology, mainly preventive safety functions. The updated model includes a function that cautions the driver when making a right turn at intersections, and a system that enables the passengers to stop the bus in emergency situations.
The Sora gets a Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communication System that alerts the driver of potential hazards while making a right turn at an intersection, such as oncoming vehicles or pedestrians. The system also issues alerts if the driver does not ease off the accelerator when approaching a red light or if misses noticing the red light altogether, and a screen that displays the remaining time until the traffic light changes.
In an emergency situation such as the driver suddenly falling ill, the Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS) allows the driver or passengers to press an emergency brake switch to decelerate the bus and bring it to a stop. The driver also gets a button integrated into the seat. As the bus starts to decelerate, red flashing lights and voice alerts notify the passengers of an emergency; those outside the vehicle and surroundings are alerted via a horn and flashing stop lights and hazard lights.
Other safety features include a Collision Warning System that utilizes a millimeter-wave radar at the front of the bus. The Sora also gets Vehicle-Convoy Recognition Function that uses vehicle-to-vehicle communications and millimeter-wave radars, and Bus Stop-Start Information System that can recognize when customers board and alight from buses traveling in convoy, ensuring the entire convoy leaves the bus stop at the same time.
The bus is equipped with a radar cruise control as well; if a preceding vehicle is also equipped with communicating radar cruise control, the bus uses information shared via vehicle-to-vehicle communications to respond quickly to the acceleration and deceleration of the preceding vehicle.
Automatic Arrival Control System is optional; the system detects guidance lines on the road surface and automatically steers and decelerates the bus, enabling it to stop at the designated boarding and alighting location, and minimizing the gap to the bus stop itself. This helps passengers using strollers or wheelchairs.
The Sora can carry 79 people including the driver. As we can see, the high-pressure hydrogen tanks are mounted on the roof, with a total volume of 600 litres. The bus’ maximum output is 113 kW × 2 (308 hp) and 335 Nm × 2 (670 Nm). The battery is a nickel-metal hydride.