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Turin is to trial self-drive buses and drone taxis

By Raffaele Vergnani / Updated: 12 Aug 2019

From the autumn of 2019, trials with self-guided buses will start in the Italian city of Turin, while another project in the city aims to pave the way for urban air mobility trials.

Initially, the new self-guided buses will operate alongside traditional buses, at least until the end of the testing phase, which will be 9 months long. If everything goes smoothly, starting from the summer of 2020 Turin will have new bus services that are able to drive themselves independently. The buses are expected to reach the highest level of autonomy, meaning that they will be fully autonomous and will not require any help from a human to operate.

"We are working with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on a regulation that will allow the homologation in Italy of the new self-guided buses," said the Deputy Mayor in charge of Innovation and Smart City of the City of Turin, Paola Pisano. 

Another innovative project in which the city of Turin is participating is "Urban Air Mobility", part of the European Innovation Partnership in Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC). Supported by the European Commission, the aim of the Partnership is to bring together cities and regions, residents, industries, SMEs, investors and researchers, with the aim of testing innovative mobility solutions.

The Turin project, managed by Airbus, aims to create an ecosystem that brings together public administrations, businesses, research institutions and universities. The aim of the project, launched in May 2018, is to prepare Turin to undertake air mobility tests, which would see 1 or 2 passengers transported in drones and drones being used for the rapid delivery of small items of freight. The challenge for the city is to define and develop rules and standards that allow the testing of air mobility in an urban environment in complete safety, in collaboration with the national authority responsible for the matter (ENAC). 

It is clear that not everyone will be able to use an urban air mobility service. For this reason, the City Council is considering making it available to the most disadvantaged people, in order to address social exclusion.

Image source: © Olivier Le Moal / shutterstock - no permission to re-use image(s) without a separate license from Shutterstock.

Source: Story first published by Euractiv in August

Region: 
Southern Europe
Country: 
Italy
Topic: 
Autonomous and connected vehicles
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