Self-Driving WEpod To Hit Netherlands' Public Roads In November

Sep 23, 2015 12:17 PM EDT | John Nassivera

The Netherlands will be home to the world's first self-driving electric vehicles to hit public roads this November.

Passengers will be able to drive the shuttle, called the "WEpod," between the two towns of Wageningen and Ede in the province of Gelderland, according to The Telegraph. The test phase will have the pod drive on regular roads in public traffic, and the car will not be used in rush hour traffic, at night, in bad weather and other difficult conditions.

The WEpod can fit up to six people and travel up to 15 miles an hour. Features during the test will include cameras, radar, laser and GPS for monitoring the vehicle's environment.

The WEpod team will make sure that passengers are being transported safety through a control room, Business Insider reported.

The driverless pod was originally created for Citymobile2, a $4 million pilot program automated transportation systems in Europe funded by the European Union, by robotics company Robosoft and vehicle manufacturer Ligier Group. The vehicle was able to transport 19,000 passengers in Vantaa, Finland and on a university campus in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Passengers will also be able to use an app to reserve a seat in the WEpod, as well as specify their starting points and destinations, The Telegraph reported.

The vehicle will start out on a fixed route, but it is expected to take on other routes and regions within the Netherlands by May 2016.

The WEpod is the latest vehicle to join autonomous public transportation projects around the world, with others including the ParkShuttle bus in Rotterdam, the LUTZ Pathfinder in Milton Keynes and the Heathrow Pod in London.

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