Driverless city bus crashes in Rome's Piazza Venezia

Smart car driver hospitalised after being hit by driverless ATAC bus.

Rome's public transport company ATAC has launched an internal investigation after one of its buses – minus its driver – crashed into a car in the city's central Piazza Venezia at 16.30 on 6 June.

The incident, believed to relate to a malfunctioning handbrake, occurred after the bus driver had alighted from the vehicle but while one passenger remained on board.

The number 46 bus had been parked at its terminus in the adjacent Piazza S. Marco, to the side of the Altare della Patria, before it careered through a pedestrian crossing and straight into a Smart Car which was driving across Piazza Venezia.

The driver of the car was slightly injured and taken to hospital while the passenger stranded on the bus was unharmed.

The incident, which follows numerous cases of ATAC buses bursting into flames while in service, has led to renewed calls for greater maintenance of the city fleet.

Photo La Repubblica