A driverless bus stops on the street in Tallinn, capital of Estonia, Aug. 8, 2017. Two driverless buses Tuesday attracted various passengers for a free ride after more than a week's service on the limited central Tallinn route in live traffic. The shuttles are being introduced as part of Estonia's EU presidency from July to December, with one of the priorities being the development of technology and its impact on society. (Xinhua/Guo Chunju)
TALLINN, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Two driverless buses Tuesday attracted various passengers for a free ride after more than a week's service on the limited central Tallinn route in live traffic.
Benjamin, a 10-year-old boy from England, told Xinhua that it's the first time for him to be on a driverless bus as there has been no such kind of transport in Britain yet.
Visiting his grandparents in Tallinn, Benjamin got on the driverless bus together with his elder cousin and enjoyed the return tour of which one way lasts seven minutes.
Serving between Mere Avenue stop and Tallinn Creative Hub, the shuttles started the service on July 29, and thereafter entered into regular operation of service from Monday through Saturday, from 8:30 a.m.local time(0530 GMT) to 5:30 p.m. (1430 GMT).
The route is operated by two buses at a time, each of which has a capacity of eight passengers, and the ride is free of charge for everyone, while the shuttles service last through the end of August.
There is a presenter on each bus, which is compulsory according to the Traffic Code for human intervention engaged if necessary, in order to avoid collisions with emergency vehicles or pedestrians, for example.
Capable of maximum speeds of 50 km to 60 km per hour, the shuttle buses are travelling at maximum speeds of just 20 km per hour during the month-long pilot project, it was learnt.
One-third of the project fund is supported by public money and two-thirds by private companies, said Limar, one of the presenter on the shuttle.
On rental from France and Finland, the shuttles are electric vehicle powered by a 48-volt battery, and will be returned to the respective country at the end of the temporary project in Tallinn, he said.
At a cost of about 100,000 euros (about 118,000 U.S. dollars), the shuttles are being introduced as part of Estonia's EU presidency from July to December, with one of the priorities being the development of technology and its impact on society.