A first in the world: A bus without a driver starts moving passengers on a public road in The Netherlands. Never before an self-driving vehicle appeared on public roads in regular traffic anywhere in the world. Electric powered bus currently carries 6 people with a speed of onşy 8 kilometers per hour.
The self-driving “WEPod” is not new on its own. There have been already other self-driving vehicles around, like the Rotterdam Rivium shuttle bus and the Heathrow shuttles in London. But what is pioneering with WePod is that, it runs on public roads mixing with regular traffic.
Never mind that its current travel distance is a mere 200 meters and that it is cordoned off with caution tape ribbon. It is still a significant step towards a safer world. Why? because almost all of the accidents on our roads are caused by human error. By eliminating human drivers from the cars, we aim to have safer roads.
In a few months, the route of WePod will be extended to around 6,3 kilometers to between Ede-Wageningen train station and the University of Wageningen, a top university in environmental and agricultural studies. Passengers will be able to reserve seats via a mobile app.
Let’s hope that the software which drives these cars and happen to be coded by humans are relatively bug-free…