SCANIA AND NOBINA INITIATE TRIAL PROJECT WITH AUTONOMOUS BUSES
Scania starts a trial project with autonomous buses in Sweden. The bus manufacturer collaborates in this project with Nobina, the largest public transport operator in the Nordic countries. Scania delivers two autonomous electric buses which will run on regular routes in the Stockholm area, the Swedish capital.
The development project has already started and the trial period is planned to begin in 2020. Two Scania Citywide LF electric buses will connect the rapidly expanding new residential area Barkarby, approximately 20 kilometres from downtown Stockholm, with a nearby metro station. The buses will be in service along a new dedicated 5 kilometre route with four stops. Initially, approximately one kilometre is planned to be driven autonomously.
The trials will be conducted in two stages, initially without passengers. During the second phase of the trials, it is expected that around 300 passengers will make daily use of this service. The buses will have a safety-driver to monitor operations and assist passengers. Traffic and control systems for the autonomous buses will be jointly managed by Scania and Nobina. “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,” says Karin Rådström, Head of Buses and Coaches, Scania. Late last year ADL with Stagecoach announced a similar project with autonomous full-sized buses to begin this year in Scotland.
This Scania Nobina project is part of several innovative public transport projects that are already under way in Barkarby which has been described as the world’s most modern city traffic system. Projects include Europe’s first self-driving electric buses in regular scheduled traffic, Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure and vehicles and new digital solutions – all in collaboration between Region Stockholm, Järfälla Municipality and Nobina.
Throughout the trials, data will be collected on, for example, average speeds, uptime, on-time performance, deviation response and passenger satisfaction. “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”, says Henrik Dagnäs, Managing Director, Nobina Sweden.