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A driverless electric shuttle navigates campus

Posting in Energy

While driverless car technology is being tested by numerous car companies (and Google) it will be years before completely driverless cars are commercially available.

That doesn't mean we have to wait until then to get a taste of driverless technology. But you'll have to go to Switzerland to whet your appetite.

A driverless electric shuttle developed by the French firm Induct is now being used on the campus of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, a public technology institute in Switzerland.

At a maximum speed of around 12 miles per hour, the shuttle obviously isn't not a substitute for a car but can get you places faster than you can reach them on foot. To use the shuttle, a customer calls for it from a smartphone app and when it arrives you choose your destination on a touch screen. The vehicle is equipped with laser telemetry, GPS, 3D cameras and sensors to navigate its route, position, and distance traveled. In the video below, Induct demonstrates the shuttle, explains the technology behind it, and talks about the applications for driverless cars.

Induct says it is in talks to bring the driverless shuttle to other schools, including The University of West Florida in the United States and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. In addition to campuses, Induct sees use for the vehicle in pedestrian areas, airport parking lots, shopping malls, and business parks.

Photo courtesy of Induct

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— By on December 7, 2012, 2:04 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure