(Mirror Daily, United States) The future of public means of transportation comes from Northern Europe: Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, brings this innovation. Self-driving buses can be spotted on the streets of Helsinki, but, mind you, they are on probation.
The self-driving buses are not large, but about half the sizes of a normal bus, with a capacity of transporting nine passengers. It is also not the fastest means of transportation, rolling with a speed of 6 miles per hour. The small buses are designed to transport people on short distances, but engineers can improve the models in time.
Similar self-driving buses can be spotted in Tokyo, Dubai, and recently in the Netherlands. For the time being, these vehicles can be encountered around big parks, malls, or university campuses. Another city in Finland used this means of transportation during a fair, last year, but it has never interacted with real traffic before.
The company which provides the vehicles is French EasyMile, and the model is EZ10. The self-driving buses are allowed to roll on the city streets of Helsinki due to one of the country’s law according to which vehicles without drivers are not banned. This is why Finland is the first country actually to authorize the robot-busses to roll on the capital city’s streets.
The leader of the project, Harri Santamala, declared for a Finnish publication:
“This is actually a really big deal right now. There’s no more than a handful of these kinds of street traffic trials taking place, if that.”
If further developed, the self-driving buses prototype can actually become a proper means of transportation for itself, which would be a significant step forward in the world of science and technology.
For now, the self-driving buses can be an alternative for people who are not in a hurry and don’t want to be in an already crowded means of transportation, such as a regular bus or the metro. On the other hand, the small vehicles can be a reason for road rage for motorists and other drivers because the buses are so slow.
The experiment in Helsinki will have reached its end in a month, by the middle of September. Authorities take their time to decide whether introducing self-driving buses in the city’s facilities is a good idea.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia
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