PostBus had tested autonomous “SmartShuttles” for several years. The project is now over. It will take some time before self-driving buses can drive on Swiss roads.
On Monday, a self-driving shuttle will be in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne arrived by Postbus.
Transport Director Martin Bütikofer received the shuttle from Martina Müggler, Head of Strategy and Innovation at PostBus.
Since 2016, two such autonomous shuttles have been tested in Sion VS in a pilot project.
That's what it's all about
The Swiss Museum of Transport has one more attraction: an autonomous postbus was delivered to Lucerne on Monday.
PostBus tested the self-driving shuttles in a pilot project for several years.
The pilot project has now been completed. PostBus draws a positive conclusion. Many questions are still open.
Further tests will be necessary. In future, these will be coordinated by the Swiss Association for Autonomous Mobility (SAAM).
There was great interest when PostBus first presented self-driving buses in Sion VS. Tests were carried out on two vehicles for several years. On Monday, one of the shuttles in Lucerne was delivered to the Swiss Museum of Transport. It is now located there in the national mobility collection and, according to the media spokesman for the Verkehrshaus Olivier Burger, will be integrated into the exhibition. “The intention is that the vehicle will be accompanied by journeys in the arena of the Verkehrshaus”, says Burger.
“The shuttles were pioneering work in the field of autonomous mobility,” says Martina Müggler, Head of Strategy and Innovation at PostBus. They were still out and about in Sion until October. The project started in 2016. The two vehicles were the world's first autonomous buses to be tested in public transport. Over 55,000 passengers were transported and around 22,000 kilometers were covered. In the Sion suburb of Uvrier, passengers were able to order the shuttles via app this year. The project has now been completed. “We were able to learn a lot during this time,” says Müggler. What will happen with the second shuttle is still open.
Can not be used without people accompanying them
“We are convinced that the technology will be further developed and that autonomous vehicles will be on our roads in the long term.” But the limits of the technological possibilities were also discovered during the pilot test. “The situation on the streets is sometimes so complex that it is currently not possible to use autonomous shuttles without people accompanying them.” There is also no legal framework for this.
In order to advance projects in the field of autonomous mobility, PostBus and other stakeholders founded the Swiss Association For Autonomous Mobility (SAAM). These include the transport companies SBB, Bernmobil, TPG and VBZ. Various road traffic players are also represented, including the TCS, the Astag commercial vehicle association, Mobility and the ACS.
An autonomously driving luggage robot is currently being tested in Saas-Fee.
Association has various experiences with autonomous driving
“With the association we want to promote and shape the development of autonomous driving in Switzerland together.” According to Müggler, there are still many challenges – for example in terms of technology and regulation in road traffic. “The social acceptance in the population is also decisive,” says Müggler.
Various projects have already been started within the SAAM association. For example, they are working together with universities on so-called teleoperation, i.e. when vehicles are remotely controlled from a central office. PostBus is currently also gaining experience with automation with an autonomous luggage robot in Saas-Fee. Various possibilities for automation in the area of parking garages or bus depots are also discussed in the association. «A concrete next project in road traffic is not yet known. However, various ideas are emerging. ” The aim, however, is to be able to start the test that has now been completed.
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