Happy Birthday, Route 12 in the Swiss Transit Lab!

The self-driving Route 12 in the Swiss Transit Lab celebrates its 1-year anniversary. Exactly one year ago today, the red ribbon was cut by the four founders of the "Swiss Transit Lab" at the "Zentrum Nord" stop in Neuhausen. This symbolic act celebrated the first official journey with the self-driving shuttle of Route 12. At the same time, we also celebrated a world premiere: the first integration of a self-driving bus into the control system of a transport company. This day was the beginning of an exciting and adventurous journey into the future of mobility.

The pilot project with the self-driving bus enabled the gain of important experiences. Last but not least the people of Schaffhausen and visitors from all over the world grew very fond of the cute shuttle turning its rounds atop the Rhine Falls.  

Facts & Figures over one year Route 12:

  • Route 12 as a visitor magnet: The wish to experience the self-driving bus live is strong - so strong, not only domestic but also foreign politicians such as Winfried Kretschmann, Prime Minister of Baden Württemberg, did want to take a ride on the automated shuttle.
  • High media coverage: International TV stations such as CNN (USA), BBC (UK) and RAI 1 (Italy) were attracted to the Neuhausen am Rheinfall site for their television reports, where the future of self-driving mobility is being tested. The Route 12 project has developed an enormous appeal in a very short amount of time and has achieved a very large reach.
  • The project is widely accepted: the project is being scientifically accompanied by an ETH Zurich institute, which is measuring the public acceptance of the Schaffhausen population towards autonomous vehicles over time. The results of the first two survey waves show that acceptance is at a high level.
  • Passenger numbers: Since the initiation of Route 12, 24,700 passengers have been transported, which means an average transport performance of more than 2,000 passengers per month or 70 per day. The strongest month was August 2018 with 3,142 passengers. The daily record is 507 passengers (on 22.09.2018).
  • Operating hours/days: The self-driving bus has been in operation for around 1,500 hours. In the last twelve months, passengers have been transported on around 330 days. The majority of the shuttle's availability per month was 97%.
  • Kilometres travelled: The self-driving bus travels around 13 kilometers per shift, which equates to a distance of around three kilometers per hour. Over the entire operating hours, the self-driving vehicle has already covered 4,800 kilometers since its start.
  • Accompanying staff: Since February 2018, a total of six training courses have been held and 12 accompanying staff trained. Today, eight employees are working in shifts. They ensure that all questions relating to the Route 12 project and the topic of self-driving mobility are clarified. In addition, they guarantee safety in the vehicle and reduce uncertainties in order to create trust - especially among passengers who are still unfamiliar with the subject.
  • Operation continued in winter: In the beginning, periodic operation was only planned during the summer months. In the course of the project, it was decided to also operate during the winter months - this allowed important experience to be gained under more difficult road conditions. For example, how the vehicle reacts to heavy rain and snowfall.

With these findings, further future-oriented mobility projects are now being implemented - read more about this in our blog on the aspects of Smart City.

The self-driving 4x4 shuttle has arrived

The 4x4 vehicle with the two engines has arrived in Neuhausen am Rheinfall. Now the preparations can begin, so the Route to the Rhine Falls can be extended. the shuttle on Route 12 is currently turning its rounds in the upper section of the route and serves three stops there. After inspection by the Federal Roads Office ASTRA and the Federal Office of Transport BAV and respective permits, the route to the Rhine Falls will be remeasured and further tests carried out. This will extend the route to the Rhine Falls with four more stops.

Further major steps towards future mobility

The past twelve months have been very successful for the Swiss Transit Lab. All representatives involved in the Route 12 project are proud of what has been achieved. The Route 12 project was a very big step forward in the field of self-driving mobility in a very short amount of time. However, this is just the beginning: another self-driving route is being planned and the journey into the mobility of the future continues.

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