The City Hall of Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca has launched a plan to purchase self-driving buses for public transport, but no matter how good this idea looks on paper, experts say it is not doable.
The agreement seeks to acquire 14 autonomous vehicles to transport more than 10 people each. According to the city hall, these buses would circulate on the streets of the city in 2023 at the latest. The total value of the purchase would be around RON 27 million.
The great number of sensors of these vehicles and their complexity guarantee safety in traffic, says the municipality — a claim contradicted by safety expert Alexandru Balan.
“There has never been a successful experiment with autonomous cars in Romania. As far as I know, not even Tesla could handle a project like this here. Tesla and General Motors are the most advanced in this field, and they can do very well on predictable streets or on highways, where traffic is also somewhat predictable. But I don’t know how well they will do when other drivers cut in front of them in traffic, which, as we all know, is often done in Romania,” stated Alexandru Balan, director of Informatics Research and Security at Bitdefender.
According to the specialist, these buses must function on predetermined routes in order to work, where no other car or participant in traffic is present.
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