Zurich to Introduce Driverless Buses Next Spring

Zurich to Introduce Driverless Buses Next Spring

Publish Time:2015-12-02 16:16:00

【Introduction】:Next spring autonomous, driverless buses will hit the streets of Zurich, in one of the world’s first trials

Next spring autonomous, driverless buses will hit the streets of Zurich, in one of the world’s first trials of self-driving buses on public roads.

In a huge technological move two driverless buses, created by startup BestMile and launched under the banner of Swiss bus company PostBus, will be pressed into service in the city of Sion, in the French-speaking canton of Valais.

The Local reports said the trial is the first commercial contract for BestMile, a company that has only come into existence in January last year. It was set up by two graduates from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Anne Koymans and Raphaël Gindrat.

The pair, working with other experts from their alma mater, have been working tirelessly to develop the algorithms that will allow the buses to navigate roads and identify obstacles without human intervention.

The two-year trial period is an important step for autonomous vehicle technology, but the service will be limited – the two buses, capable of carrying up to nine passengers each, will only cover tourist routes in Sion’s Old Town.

Since there will be only two buses in operation, the logistics of controlling them should be manageable – but BestMile says it could be operating far more vehicles in the future, offering services in cities but also remote areas which are typically poorly served by public transport.

Companies like Google, Apple and Tesla routinely make headlines for their ambitions in the driverless car market – but BestMile is one of the few companies bringing autonomous public transport to life.

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