Have you ever thought that one day driverless buses will be real? According to the latest news, it is possible now, in Helsinki. Two small EasyMile EZ10 buses are driving themselves in real traffic in Helsinki. So if you live there, don’t be surprised if you see a bus driving around by itself. The trial, made for a month, in the south of the city, is not the first one.
They have already tested those buses on streets limited to pedestrian traffic. Moreover, countries like Switzerland, China, and Britain had tried them. The service will be moved to the East of Helsinki and then in Tempere. Of course, some people asked if these buses are safe. For the trials, there has been a human in the bus, just in case something happens. The problem with EZ10 is that it can reach only 11 kilometers per hour, so people can use it only on easy roads.
The researchers are hoping they will improve the driverless buses and someday, they will be as used as the normal ones. Harri Santamala, from the Metropolia Univeristy of Applied Sciences, was the one that leads the project. He said that their purpose is to help people, not to replace them. The goal could be to use the buses as a feeder service for high-volume bus or metro traffic. We will see if their plan will succeed or drivers will see those buses as a threat.
These driverless buses could be used in Finland as the law doesn’t say that a vehicle on the streets needs to have a driver. If the tests go well, the buses could be on the road in the near future. They can also be used in while visiting parks and university campus. Their major issue is the speed because they are too slow for the traffic.
However, these buses could be really helpful in the future. Commuters and motorists will have to get used to them. If you want to visit Helsinki during next month, pay attention to the streets. You could see a bus driving by itself because the authorities are testing them on public roads. They could supplement existing public transit. What do you think? Would you go to work by a driverless bus? We can’t wait to see what will be the next step in this project. Maybe, in the future, more countries will use these buses.
Image source: Wikipedia