How can we make public transport safer and the countryside more accessible? One answer may be self-driving bus shelters, where passengers are protected against the weather inside lighted buses while being driven to the nearest bus stop.
COPENHAGEN, 26-Oct-2018 — /EuropaWire/ — In the not too distant future, self-driving coaches will be able to pick up travellers in the countryside and bring them to the nearest bus stop. The buses will also serve as mobile bus shelters, providing warmth and protection against the elements while awaiting regional bus traffic.
A new feasibility study, conducted by Ramboll in cooperation with Skellefteå Municipality, universities and research institutes, examined if it’s possible to implement the initiative in Skellefteå in Northern Sweden.
“According to the study, the fundamental prerequisites for implementing the self-driving bus project are in place and we now hope to do so in 2019,” says Fredrik Palm, responsible for conducting the study at Ramboll. “The technology is universally acknowledged and has been tested in several other projects in Sweden, as well as in other parts of the world. We are now trying it out in cold weather, in snow and with long distances. We also want to investigate the user perspective more closely and how is the project received by the passengers.”
According to Petra Bassioukas Hanseklint, Project Manager at Skellefteå Municipality “the project aims to make the countryside more accessible and public transport safer by allowing travellers to wait in a warm, lighted vehicle instead of at a cold dark bus stop along a country road.”
The next step is to conduct a pilot study in Skellefteå.
Other municipalities are currently experimenting with driverless vehicles, for example in the Danish city of Aalborg. Read more here.
About the project
The project has been carried out within the Strategic Innovation Program InfraSweden2030, a joint venture of Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency.
It’s a collaboration between Ramboll, Skellefteå Municipality, Skellefteå Bus, the Västerbotten Region, K2 – the National Knowledge Center for Public Transport, and RISE Research Institute. The next step is to conduct a pilot study in Skellefteå that aims to increase accessibility and security for travellers in a sparsely populated area with climate-smart and cost-effective buses.
SOURCE: Ramboll Group A/S