Autonomous cars will not be the only one who will benefit from driverless technology. Apparently busses will get benefit from the technology too. CarPostal, a leading public transportation company in Switzerland is launching a two-year autonomous bus pilot program in the tourist areas of Sion, Valais.
The two-year program will be starting in spring 2016. Initially, nine electrified passenger busses will be trolling around the old street of Sion. The test run is done by BestMile, a Swiss start-up company which is known to develop software to control fleets of autonomous vehicles in the same way a control tower does in an airport.
The goal of the program is to prove that autonomous public transportation can actually works and it offers a lot of benefit such as lower operation costs and it is safer. After this program, CarPostal is planning to extend its service to the remote areas of the country.
Prior to the launch of this program, BestMile has spent two years creating algorithms which eventually enable the autonomous vehicles to recognize and react to the situations accordingly.
Apparently America and Sweden are considered the early adopters of autonomous vehicle technology. Several states in America such as Michigan, Nevada, Florida and California has granted autonomous driving permits to companies whereas Gothenburg, Sweden has granted Volvo’s “Drive Me” program that puts 100 self-driving XC90 SUVs on public roads in 2017.
Initially, it might be awkward for the residents and visitors of Sion to take buses which are not driven by anyone and it might be interesting to see how they react to it. However, as time goes by, most probably people will forgot about it and it will be part of their daily life.