Wednesday, 1 November 2017: Today is an important day for our Trapizio. Tomorrow the technical inspection will take place, an important step towards its homologation. Everything (nearly) will be at stake here, not just for Trapizio but for the whole team at AMoTech and everyone who's involved. There are therefore important preparations to be completed today to make sure that everything is prepared for the crucial day tomorrow. In other words, today it's a case of applying the final touches.
In the morning, Trapizio is collected from "home" in Neuhausen. This time the journey is only very short, with the inspection process taking place just 5 km away in Schaffhausen. Firstly the autonomous vehicle is weighed to ascertain the axle weight rating of both axles. Trapizio is then taken to the bus depot of Verkehrsbetriebe Schaffhausen - VBSH. Here among others the black box (RAG) is installed and checked to make sure it's recording correctly. Trapizio stays over night in the VBSH bus depot as this is where the official major inspection takes place tomorrow.
Thursday, 2 November 2017: Today the big day has come. We're all waiting on tenterhooks to see whether our Trapizio will be allowed to run on public roads in future or not. Besides AMoTech, VBSH and vehicle manufacturer NAVYA, the inspection is also attended by decision makers from ASTRA, BAV, the canton road traffic authority and the traffic police.
Our autonomous bus has to go through a very detailed inspection in order to obtain motor vehicle type approval. Firstly the vehicle is inspected on the outside and inside and checked to see that everything is proper and correct. Then the brakes are tested. This entails looking at whether the brakes function synchronously, for example. Trapizio also passes this test with flying colours. Then the vehicle's driving style is put to the test. Here the focus is not on the autonomous but the manual driving style (via controller) so that Trapizio can now relax. This point too can be successfully ticked off the list. After all the tests and following a constructive feedback session from BAV and ASTRA, the good news is announced: We all did very well during the inspection and our Trapizio is given motor vehicle type approval to run on the roads!
Where do we go from here? Once the registration plate has arrived, Trapizio will start uni-directional operation (i.e. just on one direction) on public roads, initially in the upper part of the stipulated route in Neuhausen (from Industrieplatz to the town centre).
Today, a hugely significant milestone was achieved! We can be very proud. Now Trapizio and AMoTech face new challenges, which we eagerly anticipate. We received great support from NAVYA and VBSH, and cooperation with the experts from BAV and ASTRA also worked very well. The support played a crucial role in this successful achievement after such little time.