Electronics and Semiconductors

2-year autonomous vehicle project begins in Switzerland

08 May 2023
The project began in April of 2023 and will last through the end of 2024 along a two-kilometer route in mixed traffic for both residential and commercial use. Source: Sensible 4

Swiss Transit Lab (STL) and Sensible 4 have launched what they claim is the first long-term automated driving service with dual mode technology in the city of Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

The project began last month and will run through 2024 as part of the city’s plan to incorporate automated vehicles as a regular part of the city’s mass transit infrastructure of the future.

As part of the deployment:

  • Will run through the end of 2024
  • Open to the public
  • Routes will run from Schaffhausen to Stahlgiesserei train stations
  • Services 450 apartments and commercial space
  • 2 kilometer route in mixed traffic
  • Service is free

The project will use electric Toyota Proace Verso that will be automated by Sensible 4. The vehicle will operate among other vehicles on the road and navigate through pedestrian infrastructure and cyclists. The vehicles will be partially integrated into the public transportation system of the city and equipped with dual mode technology — allowing for autonomous and manual operation. A safety driver will be always on board.

“Autonomous driving has the potential to transform how we travel, making transportation more accessible, efficient, and environmentally friendly,” said Matthias Rödter, president of Swiss Transit Lab. “We believe that this project will serve as a model for other cities around Switzerland and will help to accelerate the adoption of autonomous vehicles.”

The routes of the vehicles between the main train stations in the city are centrally located to cater to both residents and business travelers.

Previously, Sensible 4 tested autonomous vehicle technology in harsh weather conditions in Norway near the Arctic Circle. The goal of that test was to see how autonomous public transportation could handle harsh environments such as rain, wind, snow, daylight hours and varying temperatures. That project ran through February of this year and ended successfully.

While this project won’t focus on environmental conditions, it will instead focus on how autonomous vehicles in public transit handle mixed-traffic such as open bike lanes, narrow roads and roundabouts.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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