Autonomous vehicles are almost here and it looks like buses could be some of the first to hit the roads. Watch out bus drivers.
Swiss start-up BestMile has created a connected electric bus system that allows for buses to drive themselves. These are due to launch in the spring of 2016 on the Swiss roads of Sion in Valais.
The small buses, built by a company called Nayva, can carry up to nine passengers. Not a lot of people and that's with the room from not having a driver too. They look similar to buses found in airports and could, perhaps, be an ideal way to replace shuttle services currently on offer.
These buses will face traffic, pedestrians and obstacles as they navigate the city autonomously. The buses can all be remotely monitored, controlled and optimised from a central point. This will be done by PostBus, a major bus operator in France and Switzerland which is launching the self-driving buses.
Initially the buses will be available only in this one town. This test run will operate for two years. Hopefully after this time they will be used more widely and could even set the bar for the rest of the world to become more autonomously driven.