The new unmanned electric bus has begun operating in the Spanish city of Malaga, the first of its kind in Europe.
Reported by The Guardian.
The bus, equipped with sensors and cameras, connects the port of Malaga with the city center on an 8-kilometer circle, which it circles six times a day.
“The bus always knows where it is and what is around,” said Rafael Durban Carmona, head of the southern division of the Spanish transport company Avanza, which leads the public-private consortium behind the project.
It can “interact with traffic lights,” which have also been fitted with sensors that alert the bus when they turn red.
The bus uses artificial intelligence to improve its “decisions” based on the data recorded along the route. The 12-meter bus, which looks like other city buses, can carry 60 passengers and was developed by the Spanish company Irizar.
Other pilotless urban transport pilot projects already exist in Europe, but none of them involve the use of regular-sized city buses that run on a regular street with other vehicles.
Despite the advanced technology, the driver is at the wheel and takes over the control if necessary, as Spanish law currently does not allow vehicles to operate without drivers.