Two autonomous vehicles will provide free ‘last mile’ rides to citizens of neighborhood of Austrian capital.
Navya’s small autonomous city buses are spreading over Europe. Quite a few countries and cities had tested them in the last months (and short years from their presentation) and many has also decided to take them in permanent use. The last in line is Austrian capital of Vienna, which has made a decision to put them in use in one of the recently built neighborhoods. That plan is to start using them with the April next year.
The process, however is not new. The city itself has begun initial tests way back in the early 2017 together in cooperation with Wiene Linien, Siemens AG Austrija, TÜV Austria, Curator of Austria’s technology institute department of traffic safety and of course Navya. Back then, tests were made without any passengers on board and since the bus has proven itself to be safe enough for regular use, city officials have now decided to put it in regular use. From April 2017 a pair of busses will be used to connect the Seestadt Aspern neighborhood with nearby train station on a 2,2 kilometers long route.
However, while busses are autonomous, there will always be a technician on board. There are two reasons for that: first is connected to the fact that Austrian laws forbid vehicles to be unattended while driving on the streets. Secondly, a technician has to be present within the vehicle in case a machine hits on an unexpected obstacle that it can avoid by itself. ‘Driver’ will thus have a joystick to do it manually.