The first driverless bus to enter service in the EU is IRIZAR ie, product of IRIZAR Group, a Spanish-based luxury bus and coach manufacturer. The 12-meter-long autonomous bus, which can transport 70 passengers, made its debut in the streets of Malaga in February 2021. For three weeks of trial the 100 % electrical bus, which has become “The Ecological Industrial Vehicle of the Year 2021 in Spain”, was traveling on Line 90 route from the cruise-ship dock to Paseo del Parque in front of Malaga City Hall.
The bus works in tandem with intelligent traffic lights. It uses an incorporated high-precision positioning and guidance system and is linked to a command center from which precise commands can be sent to each unit. The buses can be tracked and their routes can be accessed in real time. As a safety precaution there is still a driver onboard and because this is also still a legal requirement in Spain. The bus is also environmentally friendly, as it runs entirely on electricity and emits no emissions. It responds to different market needs and moves around the city without atmospheric and acoustic pollution. The result is a cleaner city and more sustainable environment for the citizens.
The AutoMOST R+D+I project, funded by the CDTI (Centre for Industrial Technological Development) of the Ministry of Economy of Spain, is the result of a collaboration between Malaga’s bus operator, Empresa Malaguea de Transportes, the Avanza bus company, and the Malaga City Council. The Polytechnic University of Madrid, Insia, CEIT-IK4, and the University of Vigo have also joined the project.