Driverless shuttles to arrive in America next year

French autonomous vehicle and robotics maker EasyMile is to begin tests on its EZ10 prototype shuttle car (pictured).

The work will be carried out in Contra Costa County, San Francisco, in collaboration with GoMentum Station, a company that runs testing facilities for autonomous vehicles.

The shuttles would be a form of public transport. They will travel slowly, carry passengers a short distance, and will aim to fit in seamlessly with existing transport.

Vehicles will be put through their paces at Bishop Ranch, a 585-acre commercial park.

Randell Iwasaki, the executive director of Contra Costa Transportation Authority, said: "This technology offers an innovative approach to helping travelers get to transit stations, business districts, and other local amenities without the hassle of driving and parking, which could be a replicable solution for many urban and suburban communities in the US."

A similar "pod" also under the guidance of EasyMile is to be tested in the Netherlands next month.

EasyMile have tested autonomous vehicles in Finland and Switzerland where they have carried 19,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, in France a Peugeot Citroën driverless vehicle has just travelled 580km on the motorway from Paris to Bordeaux entirely in autonomous mode. The car matched its speed to road conditions and traffic and changed lanes to pass slower traffic.

Images via EasyMile and Gomentum Station

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