Danish municipality wants to introduce selfdriving buses
The Danish municipality of Vesthimmerland plans to introduce autonomous and electric shuttle buses for public transport. Local politicians hope to save time and money with the introduction of selfdriving buses. According to the politicians, the municipality is very large with long transportation times, which requires between 30 tot 40 fulltime employees who are driving almost non-stop.
“This time could be put to a better use”, said Knud Kristensen, the mayor of Vesthimmerland, to the Copenhagen Post Online. Vesthimmerland is a municipality that is located in the north of Denmark.
Vesthimmerland has chosen for the vehicle ‘Olli’, a 3D-printed and partially recyclable bus, that was build by the American company Local Motors. The Olli has space for 12 passengers, who can communicate with the vehicle. Passengers who want to use the Olli, have to use an app to tell the vehicle where to pick them up, drop them off and also have to pay with this app.
The vehicle is powered by Watson IBM technology and equipped with a security system from BestMile, a Swiss start-up. The bus can drive itself using overlapping sensors like radar, lidar and cameras.
The project is financed by Fonden Autonomous, an independent Danisch organisation that wants to stimulate social change through advanced robotics. “We are the first to introduce self-driving technology on a municipal level”, according to Henrik Schärfe, the head of Fonden Autonomous. The first test on public roads will start in September.