Tartu’s self-driving museum bus service was used by almost 1000 passengers over a couple of months
Tartu City Government Press Release
16 November / Auve Tech’s Iseauto, a self-driving eight-seat vehicle manufactured in Estonia, aroused great interest among city residents and visitors to Tartu, and found active use. From 2 September through 7 November, 909 passengers covered a total of 2300 kilometres with the museum bus service that moved between the Estonian National Museum and the Tartu City Museum.
Iseauto offered people the opportunity to experiment with innovative, environmentally friendly and needs-based public transport. The aim of the two-month project was to gain experience in introducing the adoption of autonomous vehicles as a natural part of urban transport.
Pirko Konsa, CEO of the project’s leading partner, Modern Mobility OÜ, said that the period lasting a little over two months was highly instructive. ‘Starting with how drivers cope with a self-driving bus travelling on the street and ending with how long its battery will last in cooler weather. It is clear that the technology is still new and there is a lot to learn, which makes it important to continue testing self-driving buses in real life,’ said Konsa.
Mari-Ly Klaats, Member of the Management Board of Auve Tech, thanks the City of Tartu, with the help of which autonomous transport has been brought one step closer to becoming a normal part of everyday life. ‘The autonomous bus line, which was open to people travelling between the museums, fulfilled its purpose and gave us the opportunity to introduce autonomous solutions to hundreds of new people,’ he added.
According to Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm, the pilot project provided an excellent overview of current opportunities and capabilities for a self-driving bus to provide public transport services in actual city traffic. ‘I am sure that the self-driving bus will become a natural part of the city’s public transport system in the future; however, in order to get there, it will be necessary to overcome various challenges related to infrastructure, vehicles and legislation,’ said Tamm.
Tartu is one of ten cities in the European Union where the European Commission-funded project Ride2Autonomy took place. The automation of public transport, including the creation and implementation of self-driving bus ordering and management software, will present a major challenge to local governments in the near future. The aim of the pan-European project, Ride2Autonomy, is to gain practical experience in the introduction of self-driving buses and the adoption of a service based on those self-driving buses in the organisation of urban public transport. The experience gained will be shared with all interested municipalities across the European Union, in order to deepen cooperation in the development of public transport services involving autonomous buses.
Last changed 16.11.2021