CityMobil2 Tests Self-Driving Bus in Spain

The European Commission has selected the city of San Sebastian (Spain) to test a self-driving bus for a period of three months. The driverless buses will begin their services next Spring 2016. Previously, other European countries such as Laussanne (Switzerland), Rochelle (France) and Trikala (Greece) were chosen to implement these kind of self-driving autonomous buses among the citizens, within a real urban Lab.

In Spain, this will be the first time for a self-driving bus to be tested with real passengers. The electric bus has a capacity of twelve people and will be connecting public transport with the business area of the Science and Technology Park of the city.

This testing period belongs to CityMobil2, an EU-funded pilot project to revolutionise mass transport and wean Europe’s cities off oil dependency over the next 30 years. The idea is not to replace ordinary buses but to offer a mixed transport service, with improved transport in areas of low or dispersed demand.

The vehicles are equipped with an advanced GPS and a laser mapping system for localization and movement control. Laser and ultrasound technologies are used to detect obstacles. Each bus is powered by twelve batteries, which need around two hours to charge.

The Netherlands has already installed driverless shuttle buses to move passengers between  Wageningen and Ede, about 11 kilometres apart. These shuttle buses can carry up to six people and reach the speed of 25 km/h.

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