Autonomous shuttle bus to be tested at VUB and ULB Universities
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    Autonomous shuttle bus to be tested at VUB and ULB Universities

    An EasyMile autonomous bus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0.

    Students and staff of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) will soon be able to ride an autonomous bus around the Health Campus as part of a test run set to launch on Friday.

    Researchers from VUB and Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) will be pushing the limits by testing an autonomous minibus in VUB for the next six months.

    The EZ10 minibus, manufactured by French company EasyMile SAS, is powered by electricity and has four battery packs that provide enough energy to last for 16 hours of driving. The minibus is four meters long and can transport 12 people at once.

    In the first phase of the project, students and staff of VUB will be able to use the shuttle for the three-minute journey between student accommodation and the Medicine and Pharmacy Faculty. From October onwards, the shuttle will connect the main entrance of the hospital to the hospital parking lots, crossing public roads, reports New Mobility.

    Although the minibus is able to drive independently after being shown a route by a human driver, a human operator will be present at all times in case of emergency.

    This project is part of the Europe-wide research into autonomous vehicles by a team of professors from VUB and ULB.

    In 2014, the EZ10 robot shuttle was sent to 55 sites across the world for testing.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times