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Pilot

Marly Autonomous TPF Shuttles

Marly Autonomous TPF Shuttles
Location
Fribourg, Switzerland
Date
From to
Length
1.3 km
Project details

What

This pilot project from Public Transport Operator (PTO) Transports Publics Fribourgeois (TPF) has been designed to be presented as an official line (line 100). It is included in the official TPF schedule and tries to imitate live conditions as much as possible. It operates Monday to Friday from 6:30 to 18:30. Shuttles follow a fixed circuit, come every 30 minutes and have four stops. They are wheelchair accessible. Along their route they encounter mixed traffic on public streets.

Why

These autonomous shuttles are a potential solution to the first/last mile problem while keeping costs low. The pilot in itself allows TPF to try out their autonomous shuttles, position themselves in the future of mobility, test the integration of the shuttle into the existing public transport network and study the users’ acceptance.

© Transports publics fribourgeois Trafic SA. Marly Autonomous TPF Shuttles

© Transports publics fribourgeois Trafic SA. Marly Autonomous TPF Shuttles

Budget & Financing

The budget of this pilot is 1,500,000 CHF. The Canton of Fribourg bought one vehicle. Marly Innovation Center (owner of the site where the vehicles partly circulate) bought the other vehicle. The Agglomeration of Fribourg and TPF covered the costs of exploitation. The Commune of Marly covered the costs of necessary infrastructures (signage, etc.)

Regulatory Framework

Several autonomous vehicles pilots are currently taking place in Switzerland. Permits are being issued by the Federal Office of Roads.

Challenges

The pilot has faced some challenges including maintaining the planned number of routes per day, dealing with the changing vegetation, adapting to different weather conditions as well as responding to other drivers’ reaction towards the shuttle on the road.

Results & Evaluation

© Transports publics fribourgeois Trafic SA. Marly Autonomous TPF Shuttles - Route

Results & Evaluation

Until now 5,000 passengers have been transported with an average of 20 people per day. The total distance travelled so far is 15,100km (average of 90km per day) on an average operational speed of 9km/h. 80% of the interviewed people said they felt safe using the shuttle.

Associated Research

Research associated with the pilot include several analysis studies of the functional security, the electric consumption (heating, air conditioning) and the charging requirements (frequency, optimisation). Some of the aspects that need to be improved include diversion from the trajectory due to a loss of localisation, some software issues, the shorter autonomy (8 hours) when using the heating or air conditioning, the rapid degradation of the tires and the vehicle’s suspensions.

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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.