Commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania has announced plans to trial full-length autonomous buses in the Stockholm area, in a collaboration with public transport operator Nobina.
After the initial phase of the trial, set to begin next year, the companies plan to carry passengers onboard the vehicles, with up to 300 commuters expected to use the service each day.
“The technology is now sufficiently mature to initiate trials in actual bus operations on public roads, making the project one of the first of its kind in Europe with buses this size,” said Karin Rådström, Head of Buses and Coaches, Scania.
“The project will provide a wealth of information in the further development of large autonomous buses before a full-scale introduction.”
The company will operate two of its electric buses along a five-kilometre route connecting the new residential area of Barkarby with a nearby metro station. To start with, the buses will operate autonomously along approximately one kilometre of this route.
“These trials will provide a great deal of insight and experience going forward concerning the practical everyday aspects of managing and operating autonomous buses and enabling more people to travel by public transport,” said Henrik Dagnäs, Managing Director, Nobina Sweden.
“The demands on autonomous buses will not differ from those in other operations, including reliability, safety and availability.”