In the Swiss Capital of Berne, the public transport authority of Berne (BERNMOBIL) has officially launched the trial service with its self-driving bus on the new Route 23. This is yet another milestone in the pilot project, which is supported by the Trapeze subsidiary AMoTech.
The trial service with the self-driving small bus manufactured by EasyMile has received the necessary approvals from the Swiss government to carry passengers on the route from “Bärenpark” to “Talstation Marzilibahn”. The automated bus of Route 23 has been making its scheduled, roughly two kilometre long trips in a zone with a speed limit of 30 km/h since today, accompanied by a trained attendant and stopping at a total of 6 points. The inspiring trip along the river Aare with the small bus, which can transport 8 passengers, is free of charge. The pilot service is expected to allow important experience to be gained for public transport.
The Trapeze subsidiary AMoTech was commissioned by BERNMOBIL to contribute its own experience – gathered while running the "Line 12" project at the Swiss Transit Lab – for vehicle procurement and application preparation. However, its main focus was on the integration of the self-driving vehicle in the operations control system supplied by Trapeze. This system monitors and co-ordinates the conventional fleet of over 200 trams and buses. It was very important to the public transport authority of Berne to have the self-driving vehicle integrated from the beginning in the Trapeze operations control system in order to optimally design the operating competencies and processes. This integration is ensured by the AVOC (Autonomous Vehicle Operation Centre) software solution developed by AMoTech.
Integration offers both the public transport operator and its passengers crucial benefits: The dispatcher in the operations control centre can monitor the automated small bus at the same time as the conventional vehicles of the fleet and dispatch them. Passengers profit from the availability of complete passenger information on the channels already in place – for example at the stops and via smartphone. AVOC also logs the events relevant to operations and captures statistical data so that complete recording is ensured and the data can be further processed by the analysis and reporting tools that existed before.
With this launch in Berne, AMoTech and everyone else involved in the project have made yet another major stride towards “Mobility of the Future”. Together with the “Route 12” project in Schaffhausen, the one in Berne is now the second project in Switzerland that has gone into regular scheduled service with the support of AMoTech. The Trapeze subsidiary is coaching and supporting additional projects in Switzerland as well as in Germany, which are still in the pipeline.