Driverless Dutch Bus Takes Passengers on Public Test

Six passengers took an unusual ride last week. The shuttle bus they were on had no one behind the wheel. That short trial run along a lake in the Dutch town of Wageningen marked the first time such a self-driving vehicle had appeared on public roads in the Netherlands.

The WePod autonomous vehicle is an electric, driverless shuttle bus that could hit top speeds of 40 kilometers per hour when fully operational. But it maintained a speed of just 8 km/h during the first short demonstration run along a 200-meter stretch of road, according to The Guardian. The WePods could eventually bump their speeds up to the 25 kilometer-per-hour range during their first actual testing phase as they mix with other normal road traffic.

“With this project we are taking new steps towards making self-driving transport a reality in practice,” said Schultz van Haegen, Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment for the Netherlands, in a Jan. 28 statement. “It is only through practical testing that we can acquire new knowledge,…[Read more]