The first self-driving electric shuttle for use on public roads has been delivered to the Netherlands. The “WEpod” will take passengers between the two towns of Wageningen and Ede in the province of Gelderland from November.
Autonomous public transportation does exist in other parts of the world, such as the ParkShuttle bus in Rotterdam, the Heathrow Pod in London and the LUTZ Pathfinder in Milton Keynes, which run on special single trajectory lanes, or in pedestrianised areas. The WEpods in Gelderland will drive on regular roads amongst public traffic.
During its test phase it will not travel in challenging conditions, such as in rush hour traffic, at night or in bad weather. A control room will monitor the vehicle and safety of its passengers. The six-person vehicle has a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hour.