IT-TRANS, the important trade fair for smart public passenger transport solutions, took place in Karlsruhe from 6 – 8 March. Needless to say that Trapizio was also part of the action at such a major event: In a cordoned-off area in front of the exhibition hall, it made its rounds during three days and was thus once again in the spotlight.
Because of the preparations that had to be made in advance, you could find Trapizio in the large hall of the dm-Arena in Karlsruhe a few days before the official opening of the exhibition. Then, on Sunday 4 March, some of the AMoTech team and two engineers from the vehicle manufacturer Navya travelled to Karlsruhe to cordon off the track, to test-drive the vehicle around the track in the manual mode and to program its software, a job that took about three hours. The route along which the vehicle travelled under the control of sensors had three stops and was some 200 metres long. Incidentally, this is the first time that Trapizio drove automatically in an indoor area. After the whole process, our automated vehicle received a high-gloss polishing finish.
The next day, 5 March, you could see Trapizio spinning around the defined circuit. Though the fair had not yet been officially opened, all the exhibitors were busy setting up their booths and could therefore see the automated vehicle in action for the first time. There was another reason why Trapizio was ready to go on the day before the exhibition officially started: A sneak preview was held for the press, with various media representatives from southern Germany attending. This was also taken as an occasion to interview one of the AMoTech project managers. He answered questions about the vehicle, the company and the “Line 12” project. This was followed by a picture-taking session, and then the media people did not want to miss the opportunity to make a short trip with our Trapizio. In addition, the event organiser had requested a small photo-shooting session with two photo models.
Tuesday and Wednesday (6 and 7 March): On the first two official days of the exhibition, Trapizio made its rounds from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm with an attendant on board in the so-called metro mode. Unlike the on-demand mode, where passengers choose the stops, in this mode the vehicle passes in an endless loop through all the stops in the same sequence. Trapizio moved hundreds of people from one stop to the next. Most passengers were so enthusiastic that they wanted to travel several rounds at a time. Selfies and videos were continuously made inside and outside the vehicle. During these two days, so-called delegates tours were also made, during which Trapeze CEO Peter Schneck familiarised interested parties with the topic of autonomous mobility in connection with AMoTech and Trapeze.
On the last day of the event, Trapizio made its rounds until about 3:00 pm, but this time autonomously without any attendant on board. This, too, was a premiere in Karlsruhe. The feedback received shows that passengers feel safe even in the absence of a trained person inside the vehicle. At 3:30 pm, just after the end of the event, Trapizio was collected by the forwarder to return home to Switzerland.
The trip to Karlsruhe was a full success for everyone involved from the Swiss Transit Lab. Once more, Trapizio had been in the limelight and made a big splash.
So much may be said about the next milestone that must now be reached: Trapizio may soon be seen in the streets – integrated in the regular transport schedule of the public transport operator of Schaffhausen!