Switzerland's 1st driverless transport service inaugurated

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-24 03:22:11|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GENEVA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The city of Fribourg in western Switzerland has inaugurated two autonomous shuttle buses in its public transport network, the first time in the country that such vehicles have been introduced into the regular transport, local media Swissinfo reported Saturday.

The new self-driving electric minibuses are running between the Marly Innovation Center in the suburbs and the Fribourg Public Transport (TPF) network. The vehicles have an autonomy of eight hours and their maximum speed is limited to 25 km/h.

About five meters long and two meters wide each, the two minibuses depend on GPS and radars to stop and honk if an obstacle is spotted on their route. They can accommodate eleven passengers at maximum, with an assistant always on board to help passengers with reduced mobility, to ensure safety, and to switch to manual mode if necessary.

With an investment of up to 700,000 Swiss francs (about 722,170 U.S. dollars), these high-tech vehicles are supposed to offer a "last kilometer" transport solution especially in isolated areas where conventional ways of transport are considered too expensive, according to Swissinfo.

The service is currently free, but passengers will be charged from Dec. 10 when the system will be officially integrated into the Fribourg public transport network.

Apart from the Fribourg project, Switzerland has other driverless vehicle projects such as those in the city of Sion and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, but these have been pilot.