Images via WEpod

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Dutch “pod” will be the first self-driving vehicle to travel on public roads

23 September 2015 | By Joe Quirke | 1 Comment

Driverless pod public transport is to make its debut in the UK by 2018 and self-driving “office pods” may come to America some day, but the Netherlands is due to be the first country to have cars actually travelling on public roads with no driver at the wheel.

The “WEpod” (a pun on iPod) is set to carry passengers between two towns in the central province of Gelderland from November this year.

The units will be able to accommodate six travelers and will have a maximum speed of 40kp/h.

The vehicle will navigate using cameras, lasers and radar, but it will not travel at night or in bad weather or during rush hours. It will also be remotely monitored for safety purposes.

The shuttle is able to take bookings using its own app, allowing people to choose their start and end points.

The vehicle was designed by French autonomous vehicle and robotics maker EasyMile and developed for the EU-funded platform Citymobil2.

The WEpod has already carried 19,000 passengers in private areas of Finland and Switzerland.

At first the vehicle will travel along a fixed path but is expected to be extended to more routes and new regions of the Netherlands by May next year.

Images via WEpod