Tallinn pilot is running
The first long-term open traffic robot bus pilot in Estonia has already been running for two weeks in Tallinn and the passengers are thrilled. The bus started its operations on August 28 in Kadriorg Park which is located right next to the Presidential Palace and Kadriorg Palace. The bus makes a circle around the park and takes the passengers to the Estonian Art Museum.
The bus runs from Tuesday to Sunday between 10.00-16.00 (till 18.00 on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) and carries passengers free of charge. The bus seats eight passengers at a time. The bus drives around the Kadriorg Park and has four stops: Katharinenthal cafeteria located close to the Kadriorg tram stop, Kadriorg Art Museum, Estonian Art Museum, and Miiamilla Children’s Museum.
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. The operators can also answer the questions related to the bus or ongoing exhibitions in the Estonian Art Museum.
The bus is manufactured by the French company Navya and was delivered by the Danish company holo who is the contract partner to Tallinn Transport Department. The operators are students from Tallinn University of Technology who passed the two-week training organized by holo. Before the start of operations, the bus had to pass an exam organized by the Estonian Road Administration to ensure the safety of the bus and its capability to drive in open traffic.
During this autumn the project partners from Tallinn Transport Department and Tallinn University of Technology plan to operate the bus as long as the weather enables it. The operation will most likely be stopped in November and start again in spring.
Approximately 200 people are using the service each day. All passengers can download Letsholo app from Google Play or Apple App Store to see the real-time location of the bus. The passengers have also the possibility to answer a questionnaire about the service which is available in EST and ENG. The researchers from Tallinn University of Technology are also planning to conduct interviews with the passengers to get even more information about the service and the passenger profiles. The information from the questionnaire and interviews can help to plan future routes and is valuable for the development of robobuses in the future.