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a smile away

Today in weird transit news, we bring you a car that smiles and a mind-blowing electric bus.

The car design is the brainchild of Swedish firm Semcon, and the goal isn’t just to bring emoji to life — it’s to help self-driving cars communicate with pedestrians. The smile will activate at crosswalks, alerting pedestrians that it’s safe to cross.

“A lot of the discussions regarding self-driving cars are about the car’s technology,” said Semcon’s Karin Ecklund in a press release. “But how these vehicles will interact with unprotected road users is just as important. Self-driving cars need to communicate in a way that feels familiar and creates trust.” And nothing creates trust like a smiley face.

In other news, North American bus manufacturer Proterra debuted the Catalyst E2 Series this week, an electric bus that can go up to 350 miles on a single charge. And that’s city driving — driving on a Michelin track, one bus hit 600 miles on just one charge.

https-www-proterra-com-wp-content-uploads-2016-09-3_proterra-catalyst-e2-bus

Each year, according to the American Public Transit Association, public transit saves 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions and 4.2 billion gallons of gas. These buses could make those numbers even higher — and that’s something worth smiling about.