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Pilot

Autonomous City Bus

Autonomous City Bus
Location
Gjøvik, Norway
Date
From to
Length
1 km
Project details

What

This initiative consists of an autonomous city bus which transports people from a big parking lot to the city centre and shops. The parking lot is just by the Gjøvik Ice Hall. The bus has 3 station based stops and follows a fixed, schedule based route. Along the way, the bus encounters mixed traffic on public streets and pedestrians crossing. The bus is wheelchair accessible. This project is part of the Gjøvik Muncipality climate plan that was adopted by the municipal council on 3 of May 2016.

Why

The purpose of the trial is to learn how a permanent use of such vehicles could, one day, be implemented in Gjøvik. Such buses will be important supplements to the existing public transport service by serving as first and last mile buses to and from other public transport modes. This project has several objectives including: learning how to operate the vehicle, learning how to procure and deliver the service, learning how the general public and users react to the service, learning about the price elasticity for such a service, learning about necessary infrastructure requirements and finally, learning more about the limitations of this potential solution to today’s problems, and participate in improving the necessary technology.

Budget & Financing

© Applied Autonomy. Autonomous City bus

Budget & Financing

The budget of this project is €120,000 EUR. It is financed by the Norwegian Government, the city’s municipality and Applied Autonomy.

Regulatory Framework

Pilot Permissions have to be applied for.

Challenges

The challenges of this project included navigating the several slopes of over 9% degree and dealing with some gear system related issues because of the slopes. The vehicles had to go through some technical changes during the pilot in order to deal with these problems.

Results & Evaluation

© Applied Autonomy. Autonomous City bus - Route

Results & Evaluation

By the end of the trial the vehicle had transported 400 passengers with an average of 10 people per day. The total distance travelled was around 50 km (average of 11 km per day) at an average operational speed of 9 km/h. Overall, the customer satisfaction was good. Although there were some technical issues due to the slopes, these were fixed rapidly and there were no accidents.

Associated Research

This pilot is associated with two studies: the national research project, SmartFeeder, led by Sintef and Jernbanedirektoratet as well as the Sohjoa Baltic Project, to which Applied Autonomy transfers knowledge to.

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Lexicon

7 words explained

platooning

Also known as flocking. A collection of (automated) vehicles that travel together, actively coordinated in formation. Platoons decrease the distances between vehicles using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. Platooning allows many vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.

urban setting

High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.

suburban setting

Medium density environment with a good public transport system with radial connections to the city center, but lower capillarity and frequencies. This setting includes suburban cities.

small cities

Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.

rural

Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.

SAE level

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) levels define the level of vehicle autonomy, or in other words, how much human intervention is still needed for an automated vehicle to operate. Currently, five SAE levels have been defined: Level 0: Automated system issues warnings and may momentarily intervene but has no sustained vehicle control. Level 1 (hands on): Driver and automatic system share vehicle control. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Level 2 (hands off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 3 (eyes off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 4 (mind off): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Level 5 (steering wheel optional): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.

V2X

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.