Europe’s largest rail operator is investigating autonomous-driving cars. Why? Because not only do people need to get on the train, but they also need to get to and from the station, an issue that has long vexed public transit companies and urban planners.
Because of this Deutsche Bahn (DB)–which transports about seven million train passengers every day–thinks the answer is self-driving cars. The massive company plans to operate fleets of autonomous vehicles that could be ordered via an app. Driverless cars would then pick people up and bring them to public transit stations, solving the so-called “last mile” problem.
The company is currently working on autonomous vehicle technology, according to Deutsche Bahn chief Rüdiger Grube. He also said the company is developing automated technology for its trains, an advance that will eventually make human locomotive drivers obsolete. That won’t be happening anytime soon, however, and Grube predicted that such a development was at least one or two decades away.
As we’ve written about, here, many other companies are also exploring the autonomous-driving option. The big German car makers are all currently working on the development of self-driving cars.