Two electric minibuses with a capacity of 15 passengers each are now operating a 10-minute route with five stops in the French city of Lyon at an average speed of 6 miles per hour, thus setting the world record for being the world's first driverless bus service, according to the World Record Academy.
The two electric vehicles, fitted with high-tech equipment including laser sensors, stereo vision and GPS, can ferry around 15 passengers at a top speed of 12 mph. Manufactured by the French firm Navya and costing $225,000 apiece, a prototype was tested in 2013.
The vehicles have been tested without passengers in other French cities and in Switzerland, and a trial is under way in Dubai, using a bus developed with the help of a French company.
The buses are not capable of maneuvering around other traffic and the routes are near a tramway where other vehicles are not allowed.
Each minibus is equipped with lasers, cameras and electronic systems that detect and analyze any movement around it. Navya has taken about 30 orders for the vehicles and plans to develop larger buses able to carry 20 passengers.