In January 2018, self-driving shuttle buses started sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles in a bustling business district of Stockholm, Sweden. Traveling at speeds of up to 24 km per hour, the shuttle buses offer a sneak peek into the future of urban transport.
The autonomous driving project is a joint initiative between Ericsson and local partners such as Nobina, SJ, Stockholm City, Klövern, KTH and Urban ICT Arena. The purpose is to test the driverless buses over a longer period of time on public roads under real traffic conditions.
The testing will naturally include varying weather conditions as well as remote take-over and human response. Ericsson is providing its Connected Urban Transport (CUT) that includes monitoring of the self-driving buses while testing of the buses connectivity to a 5G network is planned for the second half of the 6-month trial.
The shuttle buses are one part of the Drive Sweden innovation project. Launched in 2015, Drive Sweden is a strategic innovation program launched by the Swedish government that gathers partners from all sectors of society to address the challenges and opportunities of road safety, adaptation of infrastructure and transport-related legislation.