Autonomous buses take to the busy streets of Helsinki

Make way for robot! Two driverless buses will be hitting the streets in Helsinki for some real-world testing for the next month or so, reports Finnish news outlet YLE.

The EasyMile minibuses have previously been tested on public roads in Finland and elsewhere, but this is the first time they’ll be mixing it up with everyday traffic there.

Finnish law, amazingly, doesn’t require a driver to have a vehicle — making it an ideal test bed for at least some kinds of self-driving technologies. These EZ10 buses are intended for short-range shuttling of people, for instance between a train station and bus stop will only travel at a jogging pace.

It may seem old hat to Valley-dwellers who see Google’s self-driving cars zooming around the streets of Mountain View, but different vehicles, with different purposes, in different countries, following different traffic rules may as well be a whole different industry.

I’ve asked EasyMile for more information on what specifically the company will be testing for, and will update this post when I hear back.