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Driverless Bus System Showcases Future of Public Transit

The Dutch-designed WEpods will begin ferrying passengers in the Netherlands in May.


As technology companies and automakers race to put a driverless car on the road, they might want to take a look at a small experiment being conducted in the Netherlands. WEpods, an abbreviation of Wageningen and Ede, two towns in the south-central province of Gelderland, will soon play host to a driverless bus system, ferrying dignitaries and visitors to a local university via six-passenger vehicles that look a bit like enclosed, oversized golf carts. Unlike similar autonomous transport systems currently in use, such as the Rotterdam Rivium bus or Heathrow airport shuttles, these electrically powered vehicles won’t run on dedicated tracks, instead rolling on the same roadways used by human drivers.

“It’s very strange to trust a robot to drive you from one place to another,” says project manager Alwin Bakker.

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