Illustration of the WePod (Picture: Twitter/@vosje62) - Credit: Illustration of the WePod (Picture: Twitter/@vosje62)
Thursday, 13 August 2015 - 15:20
World’s first: Self-driving shuttle might use public roads
The first electrical Easy Mile EZ-10 has been delivered to the Netherlands, where the car will be transformed into the self-driving WEpod. Depending on approval, the WEpod will be the first self-driving car on public roads. The car will make trips between Wageningen and Ede. The WEpod is named for Wageningen and Ede and "pod" which means small automatic vehicle, according to Smart Driving. The six-person vehicle drives itself using a radar system, GPS and 3D imaging, which makes it aware of its surroundings and allows it to always stop for other road users. The car's maximum speed is 25 kilometers per hour, and it will not make trips during rush hour, at night or in bad weather. The Dutch legislation does assumes that a responsible driver is always present, which is not the case for the WEpod, according to the Gelderlander. Officials from the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment will determine whether or not this car will be allowed on the public road. A spokesperson for the project team, which is led by TU Delft, told the Gelderlander, that if all else fails, they are considering installing a joystick. Should the Ministry officials give their approval, the WEpod will travel between the Ede-Wageningen station, the Wageningen University and the Research center on the WUR campus. The trial phase on the route will start in November this year.