How self-driving buses can ease traffic woes

WEpods shuttle
Self-driving electric buses known as “WEpods” ride the roads in the Netherlands. (Credit: WEpods)

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Self-driving cars are all well and good for cross-country trips, but what Madrona Venture Group’s Tom Alberg really wants to see is a self-driving bus that can take him on a winery tour.

“I’m very keen on the idea of navigating a wine van pool, going around between the different wineries,” the influential investment group’s managing director joked.

And there’s a chance Alberg may get his wish, or something close to it, sooner rather than later.

He and other stakeholders in the region’s transportation future gathered at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Conference Center on Dec. 2 for the 2016 Advanced Transportation Technologies Conference, organized by the Center for Advanced Transportation and Energy Solutions.

Just after his talk, two Bellevue city council members and Bellevue Mayor John Stokes bent Alberg’s ear about their plans to make the Seattle region an incubator for autonomous transit.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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