Gdańsk to test self-driving buses

Small autonomous EZ10 buses will be tested in the city of Gdańsk, northern Poland, this month.

The bus will deliver residents and tourists to the Gdańsk zoo. Presentation of vehicles and first rides will be held on September 6, said a representative from the Gdańsk mayor office.

Currently, the route used is being mapped out and human operators, who will intervene in case of malfunction or emergency are being trained.

Subsequently, the bus will be tested on a small stretch of a city street. Two buses have been provided, each holding up to nine people. The vehicles are fully electric.

The pilot “Sohjoa Baltic” program is led by the scientists from the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki. It includes research, tests and promotion of the autonomous buses, in an effort to make them a valid part of the transport network.

The idea behind the small autonomous bus is to provide transportation services in dense crowded city centres, where large public buses may be ill-suited. Other potential areas of interest are suburban neighbourhoods, where public transport stops are few and far between.

EZ10 autonomous shuttles are manufactured by the French EasyMile company. They have been deployed in dozens of locations around the world, usually closed to general traffic, such as university campuses, airports and industrial plants.