Driverless minibus enjoys successful trial in Germany

A driverless minibus underwent a successful trial in the German city of Mannheim on Friday with 900 people involved in the test run, organizers said.

The electric vehicle travelled up to 20 kilometers per hour over Mannheim's cobblestones, with six seated passengers and six standing on each journey.

"Everything went smoothly," said Frieder Zappe, a spokesman for the local transport authority VRN. "It was about increasing the acceptance of autonomous driving among the population."

The technology is still not ready to be used on regular bus routes but a permanent test track will be set up in the city at the end of the year.

Germany is one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and wants to be at the forefront of driverless technology, which has garnered significant press attention with firms such as Google and Uber launching trials.

French company Easymile developed the EZ10 minibus in Mannheim and has already tested it elsewhere.

Not everyone was excited by the test."I am a bit queasy without a driver," said one of the passengers, Michael Brandl.

Last update: Fri, 06/01/2017 - 20:22
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