An autonomous bus already in Gdansk
The robobus in Gdansk bus runs daily until the end of September along Karwienska Street and takes passengers to the zoo. On Friday, 6th of September 2019, the city launched a small scale pilot as a part of the Sohjoa Baltic project. For seven days a week, twice an hour and for five hours a day (according to the schedule) the bus will carry passengers free of charge.
The route leads from the stop at the entrance to the ZOO, through an intermediate stop at the car park to the final stop at Spacerowa Street and back. The vehicle will move along the pre-programmed route, but the operator will be present on board to react in the event of an emergency.
– Thanks to Gdańsk’s participation in the international Sohjoa Baltic project, we can present an extremely modern transport solution, i.e. an automated bus. Such vehicles could in the future take passengers to interchanges. The technology is new, so we would like to get to know it and think about its application in public transport before autonomous private cars set off on the streets of cities – says Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdansk, adding that Gdansk will be the first Polish city to have such a possibility.
As the bus is designed as a complementary transport solution, its size corresponds to these needs. A maximum of 12 persons, including the operator, will be transported per course. Buses of similar specification went to Helsinki streets in June and to Tallinn at the end of August. The vehicle in Helsinki has already attracted more than two thousand passengers. The Latvian region of Zemgale is also planning a presentation on a scale similar to that of Gdansk, i.e. over a period of one month.
What do residents and passengers think?
During the bus presentation, i.e. until the end of September, Gdansk residents will be able to comment on autonomous vehicles in public transport by filling in an interactive questionnaire: http://badania.gdansk.gda.pl/ankieta/455682/badanie-nt-autonomicznej-mobilnosci.html
Passengers, on the other hand, will be able to fill in a questionnaire at the bus stop after a ride on the show route, summarizing their feelings. The same questionnaires were filled in by passengers in Kongsberg and Helsinki. In this way, the Sohjoa Baltic project partners will learn more about passengers’ sense of security and demand for such solutions.
Easymile, a manufacturer of autonomous electric buses, is the contractor for the Gdansk City Hall. The company delivered two EZ10 vehicles to Gdansk
and programmed them to move along the route. The contractor also trained three experienced drivers of Gdansk Buses and Trams company to act as operators. Buses are equipped with an obstacle detection system around the vehicle, and operators with a control panel to take control of the vehicle if necessary.
An autonomous, electric bus moves around Karwienska Street, using its one roadway exclusively. The route leads from the stop at the entrance to the ZOO, through an intermediate stop at the car park to the final stop at Spacerowa Street (and back).
The line is numbered 322 and is free of charge. One ride lasts up to 15 minutes.
Regular courses from 07-30.09.2019 from 10:00 to 15:00 (seven days a week, twice an hour, five hours a day).
The detailed schedule can be found on the Municipal Transport Operators website: https://ztm.gda.pl/rozklady/linia-322.html