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).