Scania to Start Full-Size Driverless Bus Tests

Driverless full-size Scania buses will begin trials of the technology on regular commuter routes in Sweden in 2020.

The routes are run by the Nobina public transport and these buses will be tested in real-world situations in the Stockholm area. The trials will be conducted in two stages, initially without passengers before, should the technology prove robust enough, allowing city commuters on board. The buses will have a safety-driver to monitor operations and assist passengers.

The two Scania Citywide LF electric buses will connect the rapidly expanding new residential area Barkarby, approximately 20 kilometer (12 miles) from downtown Stockholm, with a nearby metro station. The buses will be in service along a new dedicated 5-kilometer route with four stops. Initially, approximately one kilometer is planned to be driven autonomously. During the second phase of the trials, it is expected that around 300 passengers will make daily use of this service. Traffic and control systems for the autonomous buses will be jointly managed by Scania and Nobina.

Karin Rådström, head of buses and coaches at Scania, said: “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. The project will provide a wealth of information in the further development of large autonomous buses before a full-scale introduction.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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