Germany has its first self-driving public bus. Rail operator Die Bahn has launched the service in the Bavarian town of Bad Birnbach, plying a 700-metre route that takes in the train station and the town centre. The EZ10 electric vehicle, designed by French outfit EasyMile, leans on an array of sensors, lasers and GPS to find its way around.
Autonomous services like EZ10 may have an important role to play in rural areas where passenger volumes are low and public transport ops find it hard to run scheduled services.
In September, EZ10 became the first autonomous shuttle vehicle to operate in mixed traffic in France. The new service is running on a 1.2km route within the Icade d’Orly-Rungis business park.
The EZ10 can transport up to 12 people (six seated and six standing) and caters to reduced mobility passengers.