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Driverless buses on streets of Lyon

Year-long experiment in heart of capital of Auvergne Rhone-Alpes is world's first long-term public trial of driverless vehicles

A year-long trial of driverless buses has started in Lyon in what officials have described as a 'world first'.

Two shuttle buses, which hold up to 15 passengers at a time, have started operating along a 1.3km stretch of public streets in the Confluence quartier of the city. The route includes five stops and to travel the entire length takes about 10 minutes, traffic conditions permitting.

Using the service is free for the duration of the trial.

It is the first time that a long-term daily service of driverless buses has operated anywhere in the world - although buses made by the same company that built the ones operating in Lyon have already been tested in Sion, Switzerland, and Perth, Western Australia; and driverless taxis are in use in Singapore. 

The buses, which cost €200,000 each, are limited to a maximum speed of 20kph, and a bristling with sensors - including cameras, laser sensors and GPS - that ensure they avoid collisions, manufacturers Navly said. The safety systems on the buses were put through three years of tests before launch. 

An employee of Keolis Lyon, which is operating the service, will be on every bus and will be able to override the vehicle's computer. 
Navya buses transported more than 1,500 passengers in Bordeaux during the ITS World Congress, between October 5 and 9, 2015.

In March this year, the EDF nuclear plant of Civaux became the first industrial site in the world equipped with 100% autonomous vehicles. 

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