The city of Trikala is the first of five areas in Europe where experimental driverless buses were tested out, as part of the European CityMobil2 program. The other cities are in France, Finland, Italy and Spain. Trikala was voted first choice between many other cities in Europe, maybe because of the many other initiatives driving to its digitalisation. They have created a website showcasing their digital efforts and achievements: www.e-trikala.gr/en
The six automated, sensor-navigating buses hit the streets of Trikala last week, with a capacity of 4, 12 and 15 passengers and a top speed of about 20 km/h. They were tested out for three hours a day during a week, 6am to 9am, in the early hours to avoid testing the pilot programme at peak traffic time. The aim is to introduce the daily use of these buses soon.
The CityMobil2 is a European initiative that focuses on promoting the necessary legislative reforms that will allow the future operation of automated vehicles on European roads. Some of the legal qualms have been discussed at an EU-wide Transport Minister meeting in Athens. CityMobil2 goal is to address and finally remove three main barriers to the deployment of automated road vehicles: the implementation framework, the legal framework and the unknown wider economic effect.
Automated bus services will help alleviate traffic from city centers in conjunction with other reforms, and specialists note that the technology is “mature enough” to excel in technical tests.
The government’s intention is to introduce such an automated, driverless bus service in the historic center of Athens next.
Source: To Vima, iSense Ntua, Epinoo