The four self-driving buses that made their debut on Saturday in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, will not yet be open to the public as they are waiting for licenses from the local government, said an official from the Shenzhen Bus Group.
Luo Lan, a media officer from the Shenzhen Bus Group Co., Ltd, told the Red Star News, under Chengdu Business Daily, on Monday that the self-driving buses only have temporary licenses and are still awaiting approval from local officials and traffic management bureaus.
According to current laws, motor vehicles are only allowed on roads if driven by qualified drivers.
According to Luo, the buses have been successfully tested in areas such as science and technology parks in the last four months, adding that the buses can reduce speed, avoid people, shut down in emergency, bypass obstacles and stop at stations.
Luo stressed that the trial operation on Saturday was part of a "data collection phase" and only open to professionals and invited residents.
Four self-driving buses began trial operations on Saturday. The smart buses, which are smaller than ordinary buses, began running on a 1.2-kilometer route with three stops in the Futian district, Xinhua reported.
The buses are designed to go at speeds of between 10 and 30 kph. Equipped with lidar sensors, cameras, and GPS antennae, the buses are able to avoid hitting pedestrians, vehicles and barriers, safely change lanes and stop at designated sites. The buses will be manned by drivers who can manually brake or change the vehicle from self-driving to manual mode in the event of an emergency.