The Swiss Transit Lab, which operates the only pilot project of an automated minibus route in Switzerland, has drawn a positive conclusion from the first four months according to a press release. Since the start of the STL Linie 13 in Schaffhausen in April, it has been used by several hundred passengers on the route from Bahnhof Nord to Stahlgiesserei and back. According to the information provided, it has been operated without any issues.
The converted dual-mode vehicle was used for more than 400 hours and covered 2,000 kilometers fully automated. The safety drivers trained specifically for this vehicle had to intervene during less than 10 percent of the travel time, for example if parked cars on the side of the road blocked the lane or grasses and bushes growing in spring irritated the sensors of the minibus.
Neither heavy rainfall and outdoor temperatures of 35 degrees nor the technology affected operation. Additionally, the dual-mode technology proved to be “impressive”. The Swiss Transit Lab stated: “However, one of the insights gained was that the technology in its current state still has a way to go until complete automation of traffic as interventions are still required by the safety driver.”
It is currently unclear whether the software will undergo further technical development as the Finnish technology partner Sensible4 is insolvent. However, this has no effect on current operation. According to the information provided, Rhyder is the new name for the minibus to come out of a competition and further development by the STL team. ce/mm