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Driverless buses soon to operate in Estonia

Driverless shuttle buses will be soon seen in Tallinn operating on the route between Viru Square and the Tallinn Creative Hub - the main venue of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. A single shuttle carries up to 8 passengers and the ride is free of charge. The buses still need to undergo the Estonian Road Administration checks that are required for all buses before entering into service.



According to Valdek Laur, an adviser on digital solutions for the Estonian Presidency, the field of driverless vehicles is developing quickly. “The Estonian Presidency is a good chance to introduce novel solutions and encourage development centres, entrepreneurs and institutions to cooperate. The broad idea behind the project is to go through the entire process of introducing driverless vehicles, from permits and producer requirements to the response of people and presenting the new technology to the public,” Laur said.

Introducing driverless technology will be gradual, according to Pirko Konsa, the head of the Estonian Government Office’s group of experts on self-driving vehicles, and Estonia is currently taking its first steps in the process. “Driverless technology has great potential. Driverless shuttles could be successfully used in low density areas to help people with restricted mobility,” he said. Commenting on the benefits of the technology, he highlighted safety: “90% of traffic accidents are caused by human error. Driverless technology is certainly a key solution in increasing road safety.”


The testing of driverless vehicles has been allowed on Estonian roads since March of this year, 2017. The condition is that the vehicle has a designated person who can take over the control if necessary.


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