The Danish municipality of Vesthimmerland in northern Jutland is planning to introduce autonomous, electric shuttle buses for public transport.
Local politicians hope the initiative will help save both time and money.
“We are a large municipality with long transportation times and our calculations show that we have 30 to 40 full-time employees who are driving nonstop,” Knud Kristensen, the mayor of Vesthimmerland, told Information.
“This time could be put to a better use.”
Olli, the autonomous shuttle bus
The municipality will be using vehicles Olli produced by US-based automotive micro-factory Local Motors, which are powered by Watson IBM technology and equipped with a security system from BestMile.
Olli is not only self-driving but also a 3D-printed and partially recyclable bus with space for 12 passengers, who can interact with the vehicle during the journey.
The project is financed by Fonden Autonomous, an independent organisation dedicated to social change through advanced robotics.
“We are the first to introduce self-driving technology on a municipal level,” Henrik Schärfe, the head of Fonden Autonomous, told Information.
Testing on public roads will begin in September.