Estonia’s driverless buses are back on the road in Tallinn

Estonia’s driverless buses are back on the road in Tallinn
Image: Estonian European Presidency

3 April 2018

Driverless buses are back on the streets of Tallinn, despite reports that the automated vehicles drove through red lights during last year’s test runs.

The buses can carry eight people along with an on-board “assistant” at a leisurely 12 kilometres an hour.

One bus will travel the 600-metre route between bus terminals in Tallinn’s Old Port, while the second will bring passengers from Mustamäe to the North Estonian Regional Hospital and Lepistiku.

The buses, which were developed with help from the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Microsoft Estonia and French company DSV, were trialled last year during Estonia’s European Council Presidency. Estonian media reported that the buses survived the summer without suffering any “full-on collisions”, despite a few “near-misses” that saw the buses ignore red lights and fail to give way to the emergency services.

Estonia was the first country in the European Union to allow the use of driverless vehicles on its roads, with parliament approving the necessary laws in March 2017.

The buses will be on the road until the end of April.