January 29, 2016 – A consortium of Dutch companies working in partnership have introduced two six passenger WEpod driverless buses in Wageningen, Netherlands.
The companies involved are Mapscape, Robot Care Systems and the Technical University of Delft, all taking the lead in what could be the model to be adopted by major transport companies in the future.
The buses, which now operate on trial in Wageningen University is fully automated and powered by electricity.
This is coming after, Google introduced a self-driving car that could commute passengers just at the push of the button.
Although, the driverless buses are still under trial, Minister of Infrastructure Melanie Schultz van Haegen said the vehicles could provide a push for the European Union to set up rules for the technology.
The WEpod models, supplied by French-Indian firm, EasyMile, can move as fast as 40 kilometers per hour. But Head of Project, Jan Willem van der Wiel said they will be limited to 25 kph for safety reasons, adding that initially won’t be operated when it rains or snows or at night.
“We want to be careful,” Van der Wiel said. “We first want the system to operate well on nice days l before seeing how the vehicles handle heavy precipitation or fog”, he said.