Malta’s roads are set to get a touch of futurism with a pilot project set to put self-driving buses on the streets in the coming months, Transport Minister Ian Borg said on Friday.

In a Facebook post, Borg said the pilot project would be operating four principle routes: between the University of Malta and Mater Dei Hospital, in Republic Street Valletta, around the Ta Qali family park and between Smart City and Esplora.

The project was announced together with Education Minister Justyne Caruana in collaboration with the University of Malta and public transport operator Tallinja.

He provided no further details about the plans. 

Driverless vehicles use onboard sensors to detect the environment around them and are controlled through artificial intelligence. 

Singapore, Spain, the Netherlands and USA are among countries to have already started trialling the technology for public transport. 

“This technology will eliminate human error, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of traffic accidents,” Borg said.

“Aside from that, the engines are completely electric and will eliminate emissions.”

Malta Public Transport said that some 300 of these vehicles are in operation globally, with the project being able to provide a platform for academic and technical research into autonomous vehicles.

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