This driverless minibus is being tested in Taipei right now - here's how to ride it

PHOTO: The China Post/Asia News Network

TAIPEI - The country's first automatic unmanned bus has hit the road, with a test run ferrying passengers around the National Taiwan University (NTU) campus in Taipei.

The trial for the EZ10 compact bus, which was imported from France and runs entirely on AI, started last week and ends on Friday. It can accommodate up to 12 passengers at a time, but during the current trial is carrying only loads of six.

The minibus follows a set route around the campus, automatically stopping at four locations along the way to let users get off. The EZ10 takes less than 10 minutes to do a complete lap of the route.

It has a top speed of up to 45 km per hour, but the current maximum has been set at 10 kph due to the nature of the testing area.

An auxiliary pedal is also available to allow children or people with a disability to get on.

The vehicle has already been tested in more than 10 countries worldwide, transporting more than 80,000 passengers without a single accident recorded.

If you're not a student but want to try it out, visit this website and see the form (it's in both Chinese and English).

Kaohsiung is Getting in on the Action

Taipei is not alone in introducing driverless transportation to Taiwan.

Kaohsiung is set to operate a driverless electric vehicle in October to shuttle visitors around the southern city during the 2017 EcoMobility World Festival.

The bus's fixed 2-km route will take it around Kaohsiung's historic Hamaxing port district (also known as Hamasen), which will be the festival's centerpiece.

During the event, all gas-powered vehicles will be banned from the neighborhood in what organizers say is "a live demonstration of how cities can take a bold step to create a forward-thinking urban transportation culture."

It hopes the Navya Arma - which is also imported from France, with some assembly in Taiwan - will be an optimal demonstration of a cheap, convenient and ecologically friendly travel option. It can accommodate up to 15 passengers and also has a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour.

SERVICES