Use of autonomous road vehicles in Public Transport

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Use of autonomous road vehicles in Public Transport

Useable for small to medium passenger flows. Separated tracks and a lot of testing time needed (years). Combined development of infrastructure and vehicle. Lot of turning locations necessary to facilitate different travel demand patterns.

Small to medium passenger flows with large, unpredictable peaks. New development areas like business parks, airports, university campuses, and small city quarters.

Use of automated road vehicles in a PT line.

The Public Transport connection between metro station Kralingse Zoom and business park Rivium was developed, in 1999, for the experimental use of autonomous road vehicles. In 2005, the line was upgraded for larger vehicles and more passenger usage. Connexxion is the current operator of the system.

The line is on an 1800m separated track of the road with guarded crossings or bridges over other roads and walkways. Autonomous road vehicles (small petrol buses) run on weekdays between the 5 stops every 2,5 minute or on-demand in low times, when it functions like a horizontal elevator. It doesn’t run in the weekend. Stops are all equipped with shelter, vehicle calling device and chip card reader (smart card reader). The 6 vehicles can carry maximum 20 passengers each. The system transports 2400 passengers daily. 2 technical operators are needed instead of drivers.

Enlargement of the system is projected for 2018 with on-street running to a nearby water hub (to be build). The vehicles may be replaced, as the present system uses a magnet coordination system, build in the road that may be reset by modern GPS coordination.

  • Infrastructure and vehicle
  • Service models, organization and management

Implementation case
  • Goal-oriented/efficient organization
  • Increase customer satisfaction

  • Better experience
  • Improve comfort
  • Performance orientation

Innovative technologies

In parallel with the business case, also safety case. Large technical and political support in the start.

High (>8 months)
High (MEuro for an implementation)
High (over 50KEuro/year for an implementation)
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