THE FIRST SELF-DRIVING BUS in ‘real traffic’ is now rolling in Gothenburg, Sweden, with the inaugural journey taking place today at the Chalmers University of Technology campus in Johanneberg, it's claimed.

The bus-project in Gothenburg is a part of the Swedish Government’s innovation partnership programme called ‘The Next Generation’s Travel and Transport’

The beginning phase of this initiative has now begun and the autonomous shuttle bus is available to the public, moving people between the main entrance of Chalmers University of Technology, Johanneberg Science Park, and the Chalmers Library, organisers state.

"We intend to demonstrate that self-driving vehicles are both safe and comfortable," says Anne Rosa Simonsen, the communications manager at Autonomous Mobility, the company responsible for the shuttle operation. "Getting started in real traffic is like a lunar landing for us!"

The project is the second of its kind in Scandinavia.

Behind this venture is a partnership between 15 organisations and companies related to mobility, urban planning and transport. Birger Löfgren at the research institute RISE Viktoria leads the work.

"These small, self-driving buses are a completely new type of vehicle - which creates opportunities we did not think previously existed," he says. "They can help us understand how cities of the future can develop, with reducing private car ownership and creating more efficient transportation, especially where people are sharing rides."

Easymile Roadtrip

After the four-week trial in the Chalmers area, the project moves in autumn to Lindholmen Science Park, the growing innovation cluster in Gothenburg, where a large part of Sweden's vehicle technology development is taking place. There, the project continues for a six-month period.

The bus-project in Gothenburg is a part of the Government’s innovation partnership programme called ‘The Next Generation’s Travel and Transport’, and is funded in part by Vinnova through Drive Sweden.

"This is an important, collaborative project where business, academia and public actors join forces," says Löfgren.

"During the test period we will conduct research on technology and user acceptance that will be used to assess the potential of self-driving vehicle technology."

 The buses are electric, create less noise than conventional diesel or gas buses, and are local emission free.

This opens up possibilities for new types of city development and, when used in this manner, reduces the need for parking in dense areas, the company states.

The Navya Arma model currently operates in France, USA, Switzerland, and Australia.


Model: Arma

Manufacturer: Navya

Maximum velocity in Gothenburg: 20km/h

Route: The bus runs between Chalmers University of Technology’s main entrance, Johanneberg Science Park and the Chalmers Library.

Time: Weekdays between 8 am – 4 pm, during the period May 3rd – June 1st. 

Number of passengers: The bus carries 11 seated passengers, including an on-board representative of the operating company, who is there to answer questions and manage technical situations during the project.  

Weight: 2400kg.

Size: Length - 475cm, Height - 265cm, Width - 211cm

Capacity on one change: 100km (or 8 hours’ operation)



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