Norway’s Autonomous Bus Service Isn’t Going Anywhere Fast

Ah, Norway. The country of fjords, Tesla and surprisingly decent television shows.

The country’s latest claim to fame is a new autonomous bus service which will be run by mass-transit company Kolumbus. While this usually wouldn’t be too interesting, ZDNet reports the service will have to jump through a number of hoops as fully autonomous vehicles aren’t allowed to drive on public roads in the country.

The first condition put in place by the government requires Kolumbus to use safety drivers. This isn’t too unusual as safety drivers are common in many autonomous driving programs in the United States.

Bus will be limited to 7.5 mph

This is where things start getting a little screwy as the Norwegian ministry of transport and communications will require the bus to have a top speed of just 12 km/h (7.5 mph). That’s a snail-like place as even the kid-friendly Segway Minilite has a top speed of 16 km/h (10 mph). To put that figure further into perspective, Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has been clocked going almost 45 km/h (27 mph) and that means he can run more than three times faster than the bus.

Unfortunately, the odd requirements don’t stop there as the company won’t be allowed to have more than six passengers on the bus at a single time. This will obviously impact profitability and could anger potential riders who may be told there’s no room on the bus even though there are still plenty of open seats.

Despite the limitations, the service is set to be launched in June and it will use the EasyMile EZ10 bus. In case you were wondering, the model can accommodate up to 15 people and outrun Usain Bolt thanks to its top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph).

  • Jay

    What a joke at that speed you may even travel back in time. From a safety standpoint though, the speed is great.

    • Sébastien

      Such a shortsighted comment… What about elderlies, or familly with luggages, think about mecanical stairs on wheels

  • LWOAP

    This is where things start getting a little screwy as the Norwegian ministry of transport and communications will require the bus to have a top speed of just 12 km/h (7.5 mph). That’s a snail-like place as even the kid-friendly Segway Minilite has a top speed of 16 km/h (10 mph).

    Then this thing is pointless. You’re better off biking to your destination than taking this thing as you’ll get there much faster.

    Unfortunately, the odd requirements don’t stop there as the company won’t be allowed to have more than six passengers on the bus at a single time. This will obviously impact profitability and could anger potential riders who may be told there’s no room on the bus even though there are still plenty of open seats.

    Unless you have mobility problems and they have accommodations for those people I really don’t see the benefit of this. This sounds like a waste of money and if only six passengers are allowed then you really are better off carpooling.

    Despite the limitations, the service is set to be launched in June and it will use the EasyMile EZ10 bus. In case you were wondering, the model can accommodate up to 15 people and outrun Usain Bolt thanks to its top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph).

    Ok, I looked up that particular model of bus and there is literally only seating room for six people and that doesn’t include the safety driver…..anywhere. Unless he plans on standing. And besides, only six people will be allowed on at one time. It doesn’t really matter how fast it can go as it will be limited to 7.5mph. Again, you’re better off biking or walking than taking this thing.

    Here’s the EZ10 btw.

    Exterior: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/562b0ed9e4b2e70fb3c511212c044dff7f88cc00ce57f0ab1bb2c9763d0aba30.jpg

    Interior: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/be2553c737999d17b382c68d3e316884192b2bdff69798e73de926fa47209c79.jpg

    No thank you.

  • Paul

    It looks like the PushMePullYou of the automotive world.

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