Driverless minibuses will begin taking passengers in the eastern French city of Lyon at the weekend in a year-long experiment that officials are calling a “world first”.

The two electric vehicles, fitted with high-tech equipment including laser sensors, stereo vision and GPS, can ferry around 15 passengers at a top speed of 20 kilometres an hour (12 mph).

The initial route in the heart of the city will last 10 minutes and include five stops.

Manufactured by the French firm Navya and costing €200,000 ($225,000) apiece, a prototype was tested in 2013.

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