WEpods – A Dutch-Designed Driverless Bus System
Cernescu Andrei / 2 years ago
The future of public transit is looking good right about now, as the Netherlands is about to become the host of a very impressive driverless bus system named WEpods. The name of the experiment results from the abbreviation of Wageningen and Ede – two towns located in the country’s Gelderland province. These two towns will soon benefit from an innovative driverless bus system that will carry visitors to local universities and dignitaries in a series of six-passenger vehicles. It’s true that there are other autonomous transport systems in use right now in other cities, but those have to rely on dedicated tracks while this one runs perfectly on simple roadways.
Apparently, the buses will be tested on a 200-meter public road, and if everything goes according to plan, they will begin to transport actual people in May. The system was developed at a cost of €3.4 million, and it was designed and approved in less than two years. Moreover, the technology used to create WEpods will be open source, which means that other municipalities and companies will be able to use it. When it becomes available to people later in spring, those who are visiting the Wageningen University will have to go to the Ede train station and summon a ride using a simple iPhone app. The buses will travel to campus at speeds of about 25 km/h or 15 mph, which doesn’t sound bad at all.