Starting November 2015, two driverless electric vehicles will start travelling between Wageningen University and the city of Ede in the Netherlands, writes Foxcrawl. The fully autonomous minibuses, called WEpods, are programmed to travel a distance of 5-6 kilometers and passenger will be able to stop them via a smartphone mobile app.
The unmanned busses will be using the regular roads, however, during the first stage of the program they won’t mix with regular traffic if harsh weather conditions – raining, snowing – or if night falls.
The passengers are not left unwatched during their journey: besides the onboard surveillance video cameras and other sophisticated high tech equipment, they will have an emergency button at their disposal which stops the bus whenever pressed. At the same time the technicians at the control center are informed of any possible incident.
The developers of the WEpods project are confident that there will be no unpleasant events, and the entire Netherlands will be able to make use of such uncrewed vehicles starting next year.