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

View the discussion thread.

More from Science & Tech

Facebook to build data centre in Denmark

The Danish city of Odense and social media giant Facebook announced on Thursday the city was to host a new European...

Scientists say 2016 was warmest on record, for third consecutive time

Last year was the warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880, US government scientists said Wednesday, making 2016...

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket makes first launch since September explosion

An unmanned SpaceX rocket blasted off from a California launch pad on Saturday and delivered 10 satellites into low...

Apple partner Foxconn suffers sales drop amid slow iPhone 7 shipments

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group reported its first-ever annual sales decline late Tuesday, in...

10 years of the iPhone: The smartphone that changed everything

As the late Apple head Steve Jobs appeared on Macworld conference stage on January 9, 2007, attendees were already...