25 Sep 2020


In Stockholm, Sweden, a new autonomous self-driving, electric minibus trial using 5G technology has started. The vehicle will be remote controlled and supervised using 5G. The trial is an initiative by Keolis in partnership with Urban ICT Arena, Telia, Ericsson Intel and T-engineering and will run from 24 September to 8 October 2020. The autonomous minibus will drive along a 1.6 km route and serve the National Museum of Science and Technology, the Maritime Museum, the Nordic Museum and Vasa Museum.

This new pilot project at Sweden's Royal Djurgården, one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, explores how a system with 5G-connected vehicles can facilitate the safe introduction of self-driving electric buses in more complex and demanding urban areas. Benefits of such a system include improved route planning and traffic flows, reduced operational costs and pollution. The aim of this trial will be to pilot the vehicle from a control tower without an operator on board. The unique technical features of the 5G network, including extremely high data speeds combined with low latency, mean that the connected buses can respond in real time to commands from the centralised control tower.

Keolis and Ericsson, which provides the technology for the connected control tower, initiated the project following demonstrations of remote control 5G vehicles in 2019 at the UITP exhibition in Stockholm and at the RNTP exhibition in Nantes. Telia is providing 5G connectivity in collaboration with Ericsson. Intel is delivering processing power to both the IT system in the vehicles and the control tower, as well as the mobile network. The vehicle is provided by the Swedish technology firm T-engineering. It features seven seats and will drive at a maximum speed of 18km/h. After the trial ends on 8 October it will continue in Kista Science City. In parallel with the Swedish trial, Keolis is testing fully autonomous vehicles at a site closed to traffic in Châteauroux in France.

In 2016, the Keolis Group launched a trial of the first autonomous vehicle in Lyon, France. Since then, it has operated autonomous vehicles in Australia, Belgium, Canada, the USA and the UK, carrying 200,000 passengers and covering over 100,000 km. To mark the launch, an inauguration ceremony took place in Djurgården, attended by Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland, Anders Ygeman, the Swedish Minister for Energy and Digital Development, Kristoffer Tamsons, Regional Minister for Transport of the Stockholm Region and Chairman of Stockholm Public Transport, Daniel Helldén, Deputy Mayor of the Traffic Division in Stockholm, and Bernard Tabary, CEO International at Keolis Group.

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