EUROPE’S only driverless bus takes its first passengers around Malaga as part of Spain’s unique pilot project
The capital of the Costa del Sol has broken new ground as Europe’s first driverless bus hit the road in Malaga city on Saturday, February 20, as it ferried its premier passengers from the Levante del Puerto to Paseo del Parque in a twenty minute trip. The Automost project, developed in conjunction with the EMT, Avanza and the City of Malaga, is a 12-meter, fully autonomous passenger vehicle which can carry up to 70 people.
The people who came along to its inauguration were bemused to see Antonio Padilla, the vehicle’s supervisor, sitting in the driver’s seat but without the use of the steering wheel or gear stick – for the moment, Spanish law dictates that autonomous busses must have a driver on board for safety reasons – and the most common question asked, he told Malagahoy, was “is this safe?”
One excited young man said he booked his place on the novel bus the minute he heard about it, and couldn’t wait to go for a spin.
“I was very curious to see how this bus works and did not hesitate to book as soon as I heard the news. In fact, I came early just so as not to be distracted and see all the details,” Carlos Madrid said minutes before getting into the vehicle.
Those brave enough to try the new wonder can book tickets online on the EMT website and can take a ride throughout February and March from 10am until 2pm each day.
“It is a pioneering vehicle with these characteristics and I encourage all Malaga residents to get on, try it and value this autonomous transport that has come to stay,” commercial manager of Irizar e-mobility Inigo Azcona said.
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