Since the beginning of June 2019, the Vienna Transport Company has been testing in real conditions two robot buses from a manufacturer called NAVYA, which ran on a line about 2 km long around the Seestadt metro station in the Aspern district and affected ten stops. The vehicles operated as free flights and carried ten passengers at a time. However, after an accident in July 2019, the tests were stopped, but they continued later – until now. The robotic buses covered more than 12,000 kilometers and carried more than 8,000 passengers. Now forever stopped a project.
“The project has highlighted that we still have a long way to go in passenger transport to be able to use autonomous vehicles,” concluded Wiener Linien CEO Günter Steinbauer. Experience has shown that the models supplied by NAVYA have had to cope with a number of difficult situations, such as strong winds, light snowfall, heavy rain and fog, among others. In these situations, the buses had to be manually controlled by drivers authorized to intervene in emergencies. These tasks have yet to be solved by manufacturers in order for vehicles to travel worldwide.
The program is over, but participants will continue to monitor market developments in the near future. The two small Navya buses will remain in Wiener Linien’s Leopoldau garage and are waiting here for the manufacturer to take them back to France. Jean-Michel Boëz, plant manager at NAVYA, emphasized that the environment was perfect for testing autonomous buses, despite the fact that construction was ongoing in the area and therefore the route had to be constantly changed. In addition, the latter was the longest mapped road segment in the history of NAVYA.
Source: SG.hu Hírmagazin – Autó by sg.hu.
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