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First driverless minibuses on the road in the Netherlands

Staff writer ▼ | January 30, 2016
The Netherlands started test-driving its first driverless minibuses on Thursday hoping to introduce a full-time autonomous passenger service in a central Dutch province by summer.
WEpod shuttle
Technology in transport   WEpod shuttle without a driver
Dutch Infrastructure Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen took the first ride in a so-called "WEpod" shuttle, designed to carry six people without a driver between the towns of Wageningen and Ede in the Gelderland province, AFP reports.

"Currently two WEPods will drive around the campus" at Wageningen University, where it is being tested, said Jac Niessen, the university's science spokesman.

"At the end of a successful testing phase, the route will be expanded off campus," the province said in a press release.

The 12-minute route will take passengers along quiet back roads, but the minibus will have to contend with cars, cyclists and pedestrians. It will be programmed with a carefully mapped-out route in which all obstacles including trees and streetlights have been documented.