Paris has begun testing its first driverless electric shuttle bus service, aimed at curbing congestion and pollution in the French capital.
The EZ10 minibuses, which can carry up to six seated passengers and six standing, will operate between Gare de Lyon and Austerlitz train stations for the next three months.
They will transport passengers across the Seine river between the two transport hubs for free, using a dedicated lane on the Charles de Gaulle bridge.
The buses navigate using a combination of lasers, cameras and other sensors, which tell them when to stop and start, how fast to go and in which direction.
They will operate between 2pm and 8pm, 7 days a week, until April 2017.
Elisabeth Borne, head of the Paris transport network, said she envisaged the buses being used one day to connect homes and railway stations in the suburbs.
“We dream one day of having buses like these parked near RER stations which would come to collect passengers on demand,” she told reporters at the launch, according to Phys.org.
Conceived by the French company EasyMile, the EZ10 has already been tested in several countries, including the United States, Japan, Singapore and Finland.
Meanwhile, rival company NAVYA, recently conducted a week-long pilot of its completely autonomous, fully electric shuttle bus service in Las Vegas.
The driverless vehicles were designed for use by state and local governments as an efficient, clean-energy alternative to the fossil-fuel powered vehicles of today.