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Netherlands: First ‘Driver-Less’ Shuttle Bus Hits Public Roads


In its first trial ride, a driver-less car has hit the roads of Netherlands on Thursday. The self-driving shuttle was taken down to a 200-metre stretch along with 6 passengers in its trial run.

WePOD trial was done between a Dutch agricultural town of Wageningen and Ede in the province of Gelderland at 2:15pm.  The project was developed in collaboration with Delft Technical University, costing around 3 million euros.

Initially, the shuttle will be used to avoid rush hour traffic, at night or in bad weather. The bus service will be monitored through a control room to check the traffic and road safety of passengers.

The car has the maximum speed limit of 25 kilometre per hour. The team is also focusing to add cameras, radar, laser and GPS technology for safety and for surrounding surveillance.

The shuttle service can be booked through an app, where the passengers will have to set their destination points.

Easy Mile, a robotic specialists and vehicle manufacturer, designed the pod for a EU-funded project Citymobil2 according to a report by the Telegraph.

The project’s technical director, Jan Willem van der Will said that irrespective of its low speed, “its a milestone.”  It has never been taken down to public roads before.

Several companies like Google, Daimler and Tesla are focussing on to bring driver-less vehicles. Many trials are underway in the autonomous transportation industry.

Some autonomous projects are: the Heathrow Pod in London, the LUTZ Pathfinder in Milton Keynes and ParkShuttle bus in Rotterdam, which follow single trajectory lanes and some accessible to pedestrians.

According to Iris van Cattenburch of Connekt, this the first time that a driverless car rode back and forth on public roads, according to a report by ABC.

Jan said that the service will be taken down publicly, along a 6 kilometre route in the town. It can be expected in June, depending on the trial results.


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