Since February, Málaga has made a new and valuable addition to its public transport fleet-a self-driving electric and regular-sized bus, which is the first of its kind in Europe. Copenhagen and Hamburg are indeed experimenting with driverless buses, but these are 8-seater minibuses and they operate in a smaller area.
The vehicle in Malaga is 12 meters long and can hold 60 seats. It is servicing an 8-kilometer loop around the city in southern Spain.
Although it is powered by artificial intelligence using a predetermined navigation system, technically speaking, it cannot be called a driverless bus for the time being. The reason behind this is that current Spanish regulations do not allow vehicles to drive without manual operations. This is why there is still a driver on the bus, but he can only take control there when such action is required in an emergency. In this case, he will not drive a vehicle.
The project itself consisted of several partners, who tested it together and turned it into reality. It originated from the AutoMost pilot program, which was run from November 2017 to October 2020 and was funded by 9 million euros from the Spanish government through the Industrial Technology Development Center.