Self-driving bus line to operate in Zaragoza in unprecedented experiment

Masterjsl, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The city of Zaragoza is to become the guinea pig in a new experiment involving a self-driving bus line and other innovating ideas.
Zaragoza will become a test bench for an experiment that will test up to 50 new innovating ideas involving the city’s urban buses. Perhaps the most surprising of them will be the self-driving bus line, which will cover certain stretches without a driver operating the steering wheel. The vehicle will travel both with and without passengers on board.
The project is called Digicity and will be in place for 26 months. The plan, promoted by Avanza, is already in its first phase of execution, which will involve determining exactly on which lines and in which areas of the city these new buses will circulate.
The investment for the project amounts to more than 9 million euros, more than half of which, comes from European funds. In addition to Avanza, many other transport-related companies are involved, such as Irizar, the manufacturer of the new electric buses that are set to arrive in Zaragoza this year.
The Digicity presentation was given in Madrid by Avanza’s general manager, Valentín Alonso, and the mayor of the Aragonese capital, Jorge Azcón. “We are telling the story here in Madrid but the project is going to be carried out entirely in Zaragoza,” explained the mayor.
For the duration of the experiment, 26 months, more than 50 innovations will be tested with the objective of improving road safety in cities and making vehicles more sustainable, more interconnected and more connected to the users themselves.
It is hoped that these innovations will later serve as an example for other companies and cities around the world.
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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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