Self-driving buses to hit Swedish public roads next year

Self-driving buses to hit Swedish public roads next year
Once the buses are in full operation, they are expected to shuttle up to 300 passengers per day. Photo: Scania handout picture
Two full-length self-driving buses are set to start trafficking a popular Stockholm route next year, reportedly making Sweden the first country in Europe to start deploying autonomous buses on public roads.

The electric-powered buses – developed by Nordic busmakers Scania and Nobina – will be deployed on the Barkarbystaden-Akalla public traffic route just north of Stockholm during the course of 2020, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported.

The autonomous buses, which will drive in a special bus lane and be monitored by a security driver, will start out travelling without passengers on just one kilometer of the route, but will eventually be rolled out to cover a five-kilometres-long stretch and carry up to 300 passengers per day.

According to SVT, the move will make Sweden the first country in Europe to deploy self-driving buses on public roads.

Kristoffer Tamson, chairman of Stockholm’s public transport company SL, said: “Thanks to this unique agreement, SL will write European public transport history. This is a gigantic step forward for us in our ambition to lead the development of public transport toward smarter, greener and better solutions.”

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