In path breaking trials for the autonomous industry, Swedish capital Stockholm will experience self driving buses for public transport system as a part of autonomous bus trials to be carried out jointly by Scania and Nobina.
Collaboration of the two companies Scania and Nobina, the largest public transport operator in the Nordic countries, will result in autonomous buses ferrying passengers on regular routes in Stockholm.
Revealing more Karin Rådström, Head of Buses and Coaches, Scania said, “The technology is now sufficiently mature to initiate trials in actual bus operations on public roads, making the project one of the first of its kind in Europe with buses this size. The project will provide a wealth of information in the further development of large autonomous buses before a full-scale introduction.”
Safety is the top most priority throughout the trials which will be conducted in two phases. The initial phase will not have passengers; in the later stage however, the buses will have a safety-driver to monitor operations and assist commuters.
Henrik Dagnäs, Managing Director, Nobina at Sweden says, “We at Nobina are highly engaged in establishing what we believe will be an important part of future public transport. These trials will provide a great deal of insight and experience going forward concerning the practical everyday aspects of managing and operating autonomous buses and enabling more people to travel by public transport. The demands on autonomous buses will not differ from those in other operations, including reliability, safety and availability.”
The trial will commence on rapidly expanding new residential area Barkarby, approximately 20 kilometres from downtown Stockholm for commuters connecting it to the nearby metro station using two Scania Citywide LF electric buses. The route is 5-kilometre long with four stops buses. In the beginning approximately one kilometre is planned to be driven autonomously. Almost 300 passengers are expected to make use of this service on a daily basis during the second phase of the trials.
Scania and Nobina will jointly manage the traffic and control systems for operating the autonomous buses. With the trial period slated to commence in 2020 the development project has already begun. Throughout the trials, data will be collected on multiple parameters like average speeds, uptime, on-time performance, deviation response and passenger satisfaction to help implement the project efficiently on a long term basis.
Barkarby has been described as the world’s most modern city traffic system with several innovative public transport projects already under way. To name a few- Europe’s first self-driving electric buses in regular scheduled traffic, Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure and vehicles and new digital solutions – are ongoing as a result of the collaborative efforts of Region Stockholm, Järfälla Municipality and Nobina.