Málaga, a city in Southern Spain, has become the first place in Europe to trial full-size autonomous buses on a regular basis. The 60-seater bus is equipped with sensors and cameras using artificial intelligence (AI) to support its decision making when driving along a fixed route on an 8 kilometre stretch of the city. These sensors can also interact with traffic lights in the city that are equipped with sensors to alert the bus when they turn red and green. The bus completes this trip 6 times a day with a driver at the wheel to take control if necessary, as Spanish law currently does not allow vehicles to operate without one.
The project is from the AutoMost pilot programme and is funded by Spain’s Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), an agency that aims to develop technologies for the automation of vehicles in urban and industrial transport applications. The trial follows the rising global interest in autonomous vehicles and is not the first in Europe. Other European cities, including Copenhagen and Hamburg, have run trials involving driverless electric shuttles with smaller vehicles. However, Málaga is the first to use a regular-size urban bus that runs on a normal street with other vehicles on a daily basis.
The Advanced Technology for Industry (ATI) project has published a report on IoT components in connected and autonomous vehicles. The report maps the value chain of IoT for connected and autonomous vehicles and provides an analysis of the EU’s competitive positioning therein and indicates related challenges and opportunities. For more information, read more about the ATI project.