I heard that in the Netherlands there would soon be a self driving bus, and this would be the first sharing the road with other cars.

There are also a couple of other places with autonomous cars, but they travel in dedicated lanes.

I think these things are amazing and will revolutionize transport. I can't wait to try it. Where can I find these?

I would prefer a car/bus sharing the road with other traffic, but if not possible trying one in a dedicated lane would already be nice.

Kitt, the first self driving car... on Tv

  • 2
    Do you work for a major media organisation?
    – CMaster
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 9:46
  • :) no... but I will think about it
    – nsn
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 9:50
  • In Syracuse, Indiana, apparently.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 10:51
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    Google Headquarters! Or for that matter lots of places in Silicon Valley. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 1:17

5 Answers 5


I don't know about any place where you can already use a bus that shares the road with other vehicles, but in Rotterdam, the Netherlands there is a bus that drives autonomously on a dedicated lane with road crossings. It is guided by a magnetic strip under the ground, but it is autonomously controlling its speed. It has been doing this since 1999 already. enter image description here

Image source

It's called the ParkShuttle II, and it is used to connect a business park to a nearby metro-station (the blue line in the image).

enter image description here

Image source

More information about it can be found here. You can watch a YouTube video shot from the inside here.

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    Oh! I've always wondered why that 'bus without a driver' was standing there sometimes. Mystery solved.
    – Belle
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 10:43

The autonomous one sharing public roads with other traffic in the Netherlands is the "WEpod" (link in Dutch).

Image from Wageningen University's twitter feed

(image from Wageningen University's twitter feed)

As far as I know, they have been tested in the last months of 2015 and will be available for visitors to try out in May and June 2016, travelling between the Ede/Wageningen train station and the Wageningen university campus (around 8 km, at 25 km/h).

I don't know if they are planned to become permanent.

  • One pretty much like that in La Rochelle, France, garethhuwdavies.com/environment/green_tech/… I am not sure whether it drove on the normal street or only on 'walkers only' areas and special lanes. (But the speed is rather low for the normal traffic.)
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 16:39

This may not be the answer you were looking for in a stricter sense, but just to play the devil's advocate real quick: you could always go ahead and buy a Tesla or schedule a test drive!


I don't know if they are already up for rent anywhere but you could always go ahead and schedule a test drive, which is free and you'd share the lane with others

The autopilot has seen great feedback as far as I can tell. Just remember, it's not 100% autonomous :D

  • Apparently, they are for rent in the UK for £40 per hour.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 14:43
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    Uhm... yeah... :D Test drive it is then
    – avalancha
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 15:01
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    I'm not sure if garages would be happy to let people test drive if they have no intention to buy the car.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 16:07
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    Yup, sure, as I said this answer should not be taken too seriously. Of course you'll have time constraints, need a drivers license, need to be a tiny bit dishonest to the salesman etc. etc. But for the sake of the argument... I think it's a valid possibility
    – avalancha
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 16:10

Update 2016/03/23 As of today the system is operational and can be tested in Sion. It runs on Tuesday - Sunday afternoons and there's a website with timetables and disruption messages as well as other important information. The test will run until October 2017.

There's one driverless bus system to be launched in the old city area of Sion in Switzerland. It is currently being tested and will be opened for free to the public in spring 2016 for a 2 year testing period. The area in question is a mostly car-free pedestrian area, but I am sure that the interaction of the bus with the quite crowded pedestrian area is going to be interesting to experience as well.

autonomous shuttle (picture from above linked article by swissinfo.ch)

This system is quite comparable to a similar system that has been used on the campus of EPFL in Lausanne which had a public test period last year.


There's the Heathrow Pod - little electric self-driving cars in dedicated lanes.

Heathrow POD Image from ultra global PRT.

The Heathrow POD is free to ride between the T5 car park and Business Parking. It runs very close to the end of the runway so you can sometimes get an excellent view of planes landing. From within T5, follow signs to 'Heathrow pod'. It's a fun thing to do if you have a bit of spare time at Heathrow (particularly with kids).

The company's website has an interesting downloadable software simulator which you can use to plan and simulate your own pod network.

If you don't mind it being a bit larger then lots of airports worldwide have automated guideway transit systems, some of which aren't so different to self-driving buses in dedicated lanes.

[Yurikamome AGT, Odaiba Tokyo, Japan] Image by LERK


The BBC is now reporting that vehicles based on the 'pods' used at Heathrow are to be used for a trial project in Greenwich, where they won't have their own dedicated lanes:

The first driverless cars to be tested on the streets of London will resemble the electric passenger shuttles currently in use at Heathrow Airport.

The group behind the project is currently adapting the pods for use on the roads.

It has yet to unveil the exact design but confirmed that the adapted vehicles will not run on dedicated tracks.

Greenwich is one of four places in the UK where driverless pods and public reaction to them are being tested.

Trials will also take place in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes. The £8m project is jointly funded by government agency Innovate UK and industry.

The Greenwich Automated Transport Environment project - or Gateway - will see seven driverless pods tested on the pavements around the Greenwich Peninsula, where the O2 Arena is based, from July.

London's first driverless cars based on Heathrow 'pods', BBC News, Jane Wakefield, 29 Jan 2016

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    There's plenty of autonomous trains/metro systems around and the experience is not nearly the same, so I don't think that really answers the question.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 11:47
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    @gerrit AGTs like the pictured Yurikamome aren't technically trains, since they have rubber tires and run on concrete. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yurikamome Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 12:45
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    @Panzercrisis I noticed that too, I think they're all passengers... what looks a bit like a steering wheel or a control level could be a walking stick.
    – A E
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 13:44
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    @jpatokal They're not literally trains but they're much closer to being trains than cars: they run in a fixed track and the only control the vehicle has is faster/slower. Especially for the second one, if you went out into the street and showed a photograph of it to random people, 90% of them would say, "That's a train." This doesn't answer the question. Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 14:55
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    @DavidRicherby The Heathrow Pod appears to meet the definition of autonomous car/bus when you consider that the OP specifically stated he would consider ones that travel in a dedicated lane.
    – JBentley
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 18:50

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