Mustamäe district of Tallinn gets self-driving bus

A self-driving bus (photo is illustrative).
A self-driving bus (photo is illustrative). Source: Auve Tech.

From Friday, a driverless bus will be available for public travel, free of charge, in the Tallinn district of Mustamäe.

The self-driving bus will remain in operation until September 14 and will operate a route delineated by the main thoroughfares of Mustamäe tee, Tammsaare tee and Ehitajate tee.

A residential district, Mustamäe is no stranger to cutting edge tech, with Taltech University and the Tehnopol Science Park located in the area, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary as a built-up suburb, Mustamäe District Elder Lauri Laats (Center) said .

Laats said: "I am delighted that the self-driving bus project is to reach the streets of Mustamäe. Hopefully the pilot project will be a success and will bring us a self-driving bus for a longer period of time in the near future."

Route taken by the Mustamäe driverless bus, June 15-September 14 inclusive. Source: Tallinn City Government

"Since Mustamäe is a compact district, the shuttle is able to cover the habitual routes of quite a large number of people on a short route," Laats added, according to a Tallinn city government press release.

The self-driving bus seats eight and is schedule to run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays inclusive, at approximately 25-minute intervals.

The 2km, pre-programmed route passes residential buildings, shopping centers and other amenities (see map below).

Route taken by the Mustamäe driverless bus, June 15-September 14 inclusive. Source: Tallinn City Government

A human operator is on-board at all times to supervise the buses' performance.

The bus uses sensors to monitor its surroundings and is programmed to brake automatically where needed.

Tallinn residents can use the bus free-of-charge as they do with traditional, human-driven buses, trams and trolleybuses.

The project carried out in cooperation between the Tallinn Transport Department and Auve Tech, an Estonian company developing self driving vehicles.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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