Back in July, a curious little bus named Olli made its debut appearance in Washington, D.C. Aside from its distinctive appearance, what sets Olli apart from other buses in D.C. is that it’s able to drive itself. The bus is able to respond to hails from an Uber-like app, and recognize requests from passengers to take them to different locations in the area.
Now, a similar bus is about to hit the streets of the Finnish city of Helsinki as well. They’re called EasyMile minibuses, and this will be the first time they’ll share the road with ordinary traffic in Finland. Prior to their introduction in Helsinki, the buses were tested on a number of public roads in more remote regions.
Finland is somewhat unique in that the country has no law that explicitly requires vehicles to have drivers. Chances are, this was just an oversight from the days before autonomous vehicles became a practical reality. Now, however, this legal oddity has made Finland an ideal testbed for self-driving cars and buses.
Because the EasyMile buses are small and not especially fast, they will likely be used to ferry passengers short distances around the city, rather than following regular commuter routes. They could be perfect for getting people to and from an airport or train station, for example. The testing is expected to start shortly, and run for a total of about two months. If all goes well, Helsinki may adopt more of the buses in the future as well.
Stay tuned for more updates from your premier source for new and uses buses, all sold at competitive prices – Northwest Bus Sales.