German railway company Deutsche Bahn has introduced an autonomous bus to drive passengers along a pre-programmed route in Bavaria. In case of an emergency, a human driver can take control with a joystick.
The electric vehicle delivered its first passengers on Wednesday in Bad Birnach, Bavaria, starting on its eight-minute route from the town's hot springs to the central area and the railway station. The EZ10 bus has six places to sit and can take in a further six standing passengers, and the ride is free of charge.
It's the first time a self-driving bus has been incorporated in Germany's public transport system.
Among the first group to ride the self-driving bus was Richard Lutz, the head of the German railway giant Deutsche Bahn (DB), the company behind the pilot project.
"We've just driven, completely autonomously, into a new era of transport," he said in a statement after the first trip.