Rome tests driverless buses

Driverless electric mini buses could be used in central Rome.

Self-driving electric minibuses could be "the future" for pedestrian areas of central Rome, according to the capital's mobility councillor Enico Stefanò of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle.

A prototype of the driverless shuttle bus - about the same size as Rome's electric mini-buses - was presented to the city's mobility committee on 13 March.

Stefanò explained that the self-driving shuttle "can cover short distances, recognising obstacles and pedestrians crossing the road, avoiding them in total safety."

The totally electric self-driving vehicle is manufactured by French company Navya and is already operating on the streets of Las Vegas.

Stefanò said that 20 years ago Rome was at the forefront of new transport trends when it launched its fleet of electric mini-buses.

However he acknowledged that this time the capital faces a significant obstacle: driverless vehicles are currently not permitted under Italy's transport laws.

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Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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