2018: year of the autonomous bus
Local transport providers in Australia, California, China, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland are making 2018 the year driverless buses move from the test track to the city street.
In the past month or so an increasing number of projects have begun, been announced or have reached milestones in their development.
In the quiet town of San Ramon, near San Francisco, California’s first autonomous bus service began last week. The “EasyMile shuttle” is an electric vehicle that has no driver’s seat, and can carry 12 people, six sitting and six standing. A video of the bus making its maiden voyage can be seen here.
EasyMile’s shuttles can travel at 45km/h and cost $250,000 each. So far, the company has sold its product to 20 countries, where they are mainly used in low-risk environments such as large commercial sites, although they have begun some services in small urban environments, such as Bavarian spa town Bad Birnbach.