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Hunan University [File photo/Xinhua]

Hunan University in central China has launched an innovation initiative to develop a smart urban public transport system, according to Thursday's Science and Technology Daily.

The initiative, with investment of over 100 million yuan (about US$14.4 million), features technologies such as automatic drive, mobile internet and new-energy vehicles.

Vehicles and transport will be assisted by the systems of cloud scheduling and dispatching, ground communication and intelligent mobile spaces, according to the paper. Buses will be hailed online via the system and passenger orders will be received in real time.

The system is expected to lift transport capacity by 10 percent compared with metro, while saving on travel time by 70 percent, the paper said.

The program is also joined by Tongji University in Shanghai and Tsinghua University in Beijing.