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Oslo to get emissions-free, automated buses in 2018

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Oslo to get emissions-free, automated buses in 2018
An automated electric bus being demonstrated in Oslo in April 2017. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix
11:33 CEST+02:00
A new automated electric bus – that can be hailed using an app – will be introduced to Oslo’s traffic next year.

The Norwegian capital’s Roads and City Authority (Ruter og Bymiljøetaten) will test the buses from March 2018, reports newspaper Aftenposten.

Initially a trial project in Oslo or the Akershus county, the long-term aimed is to operate between 10 and 20 of the automated bus, according to the report.

“A service in Oslo city centre will teach us other things about a service in Bygdøy or in Nordre Aker,” the authority’s director of mobility services Endre Angelvik told Aftenposten.

Passengers will be able to order buses using an app called Ruters. Waiting times are expected to be between five and ten minutes, and the electric vehicles will stop to pick up other passengers during journeys.

Passengers can control the routes taken by the buses, provided they remain in the test zones, according to the report.

A permanent service may be implemented after the trial period ends in January 2019.

A proposed law change will allow businesses and municipalities to trial automated vehicles, reports Aftenposten.

The final proposal, which has been through parliamentary consultation, was sent to Norway’s Stortinget parliament shortly before the summer recess.

Traffic minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen told news agency NTB that he supported the initiative.

“We are celebrating the fact that Ruter is planning to start testing automated buses as early as next year,” Solvik-Olsen told the agency via a written message.

“It is fantastic that Norwegian public transport is so prepared to take such steps. It shows how important lawmaking work is and the effect of making this kind of development and technology possible in Norway,” the minister added. 

READ ALSO: Norwegians want futuristic vacuum train between Oslo and Copenhagen

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