From Iceland — Conservatives To Propose Reykjavík Experiment With Autonomous Buses

Conservatives To Propose Reykjavík Experiment With Autonomous Buses

Published September 1, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Maurits Vink/Wikimedia Commons

A new proposal (.pdf) from the Independence Party will be submitted to Reykjavík City Council today that would see Strætó, the company which manages most Reykjavík area bus service, experiment with so-called “autonomous buses”—essentially self-driving buses.

The proposal, which will be submitted to City Council today, argues that such buses would “support vastly improving service” for capital area commuters, and would mark “a revolution in transportation”.

“Development in transportation is great in this area, and is undeniably a part of the fourth industrial revolution,” the proposal states in part. “Just as mobile phones became smartphones, vehicles will become smart vehicles. Only a few years ago, the idea of self-driving vehicles was utopian; today, autonomous vehicles are a fact.” The proposal argues that such vehicles in the Reykjavík area bus system could “greatly increase driving capacity and improve punctuality”.

Should Reykjavík go through with the experiment, they would not be alone. Several European countries are already experimenting with, or plan to experiment with, autonomous vehicles.

What form this experiment would take—e.g., how many autonomous buses, of what kind, and where they would drive—is as yet undetermined, and would need to be sorted out if the proposal is passed.

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