UK council greenlights driverless e-bus trials

The scheme is forecast to reduce emissions and congestion in Solihull

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Commuting on driverless buses will soon leave the realm of science fiction and become part of everyday life for the citizens in Solihull.

Solihull Council is planning to begin trials of a project that will see autonomous electric mini-bus hit the town’s streets.

The scheme, which will last two years, aims to demonstrate how residents and visitors can benefit from the technology that provides means of zero-emission shared transport and an alternative to single-occupancy car journeys.

The vehicles will be driven autonomously and are designed to be manually driven at any point when required.

Figures show transport currently accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide emissions across the borough, making it the single biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Councillor Ted Richards OBE, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Growth and Infrastructure Delivery, said: “Connected autonomous vehicles might seem like something out of a sci-fi film but the technology is here and it offers an exciting opportunity to reduce the number of single-occupancy car journeys made across the borough, replacing them with a zero-carbon shared alternative.

“The really exciting thing about this technology is its longer-term potential to make mass low carbon transport in the borough more accessible.”

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