Self-driving bus to shuttle Bavarian townsfolk

October 25, 2017
All aboard... German railway company DB's first driverless bus as it tests future modes of transport.
All aboard... German railway company DB's first driverless bus as it tests future modes of transport.

German state-owned rail company Deutsche Bahn unveiled its first-ever driverless bus Wednesday, saying the shuttle will bring passengers through a picturesque spa town to the train station.

The test route for the self-driving machine is in Bad Birnbach, set in the rolling hills of the southeastern state Bavaria not far from the Czech and Austrian borders.

Made by French startup EasyMile, the 12-person bus will offer free rides on an eight-minute route linking the baths, the town centre and the station, Deutsche Bahn (DB) said in a statement.

"We've just driven autonomously into a new era of transport," DB boss Richard Lutz, who rode along on the first trip, said in a statement.

The rail operator has launched a subsidiary dubbed Ioki to test future modes of transport, focussing especially on electric-powered mobility.

From 2018, the new buses will operate on test routes in several German towns, including the country's second-largest city Hamburg.

DB hopes that in the future they will operate like a private car service, picking up passengers from home on demand and bringing them to the station—picking up others with the same destination along the way.

Across the Americas, Asia and Europe, a number of cities—including Paris, Lyon, Las Vegas and Dubai—are already experimenting on a small scale with autonomous vehicles complementing public transport systems.

Explore further: California bullet train staff recommend German operator

Related Stories

California bullet train staff recommend German operator

October 7, 2017

The agency overseeing California's bullet train project recommended Friday that a U.S. subsidiary of a German rail company design and operate a train segment from the Central Valley to Silicon Valley in its early stages.

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

Recommended for you

A novel approach of improving battery performance

September 18, 2018

New technological developments by UNIST researchers promise to significantly boost the performance of lithium metal batteries in promising research for the next-generation of rechargeable batteries. The study also validates ...

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train

September 17, 2018

Germany on Monday rolled out the world's first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology.

Technology streamlines computational science projects

September 15, 2018

Since designing and launching a specialized workflow management system in 2010, a research team from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has continuously updated the technology to help computational ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.