Greece is testing a driverless bus in real traffic conditions

Automation & RoboticsBusinessSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2015

Greece is testing a driverless bus in real traffic conditions


A driverless bus is being tested in real traffic conditions for the first time in the town of Trikala, Greece, local media reported. The French-built CityMobil2 buses are guided by GPS, lasers and wireless cameras, and their rides are free. As part of the European project to revolutionize mass transport and wean cities off oil dependency over the next 30 years, the testing will continue until late February 2016.

Over the past year, CityMobil2 has been tested in controlled conditions near its base in La Rochelle in western France, on a campus in Lausanne, Switzerland, and near Helsinki, Finland, and has produced no accidents. The buses can seat up to 10 people and send live data collected via GPS and supplementary sensors to a control center. For safety precautions, each vehicle’s data is monitored by a driver in the control center who can override the systems.

Trikala has previously tested EU-funded pilot medical programs, including schemes to relay heart test data from home to the doctor’s office and use tracker devices for Alzheimer patients. The Greek government had to amend some of its laws to allow testing of the buses and in addition to that, the city had to build a dedicated bus lane that deprived residents of downtown parking spaces.