Vectorial® system bus platform in the City of Waiblingen, Germany.

CITY:City of Waiblingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
LOCATION:Ameisenbühl Industrial Park

The City of Waiblingen is part of a consortium of universities and industrial partners that are conducting research on the implementation and operation of autonomous driving in public transport.

Need and project objectives.

In the framework of the AMEISE project, they set up a new 2 km bus line that goes through the industrial park “Ameisenbühl“ that connects this spot with the Waiblingen train station. This project is supported by the Ministry of Transport Baden-Württemberg.

This project has several research issues:

  • Changes in the infrastructure to facilitate autonomous driving. It requires the installation of sensors and detectors on a conventional vehicle, as well as communication with sensor infrastructure.
    • Installation of a dedicated 5G mobile network for transmission of data between static sensors and the vehicle.
  • Operation of an autonomous bus. The Easy Mile Ez10Gen 3 was chosen for this purpose.
  • Study of the user acceptance and econometric calculations.
  • Analysis of the impacts and chances for the professions in the public transportation sector.

AMEISE started in October 2020 and until summer 2022 the two vehicles have been transporting people. Despite this project is coming to an end in December 2022, it could be the first of several projects related to autonomous public transport to be developed in Waiblingen.

For this project, the new bus line created the need of implementing new bus stops. The concern of the operators, in the absence of “official” bus stops, was to be able to guarantee the accessibility of the shuttle to passengers. But as an experiment that will last only some months, it was too costly and not very virtuous in environmental terms, creating permanent bus stops and possibly getting rid of them at the end of the pilot.

The proposed solution.

Therefore, the bus stop was equipped with the Vectorial® system bus platform, which could perfectly fulfill the specifications of the project, namely:

  • A very variable environment due to the temporality of the project. The platform was installed on a floating island boarder configuration, and it included a bus shelter.
  • A period of operation that could change: the platforms will ensure the accessibility to the autonomous shuttle during the duration of the experiment but can be maintained if the experiment is prolonged. In fact, the modules that compose them are made of 100% recycled PVC, a material chosen for its durability and excellent weather behavior.
  • A limited budget for the conditioning of bus stops, within the reach of small communities, guaranteeing a perfect adaptation to the specificities of each terminal.