Switzerland to get driverless electric buses in 2016
While driverless cars are only being tested for the future; in what is a first ever for Switzerland, a startup is planning to introduce driverless busses – new high for the Swiss public transport. Startup called BestMile, founded by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) students, in collaboration with PostBus, major bus operator in Switzerland and France, is working on autonomous buses which will start running in the canton of Valais in 2016. Initially, two driverless buses will be introduced in service in Sion for a two-year test period beginning early next year.
The autonomous buses will be installed with technology developed by BestMile, which will allow the busses to navigate roads most accurately. The buses will be able to follow the map avoiding traffic, pedestrians and other obstacles on road. The introductory buses that can drive autonomously and deal different scenarios on the road are a result of two-years of rigorous development effort by BestMile and EPFL.
According to the developers, the buses will be electric-powered and will be designed to ferry nine passengers at a time in tourist zones in Sion.