Take a bus ride into the future

Linköping’s first autonomous buses are picking up passengers on Campus Valla. It’s now possible to take a ride on this rolling research project.

Magnus Johansson

The project has been christened “Elin”, and consists of two autonomous buses that will run along a two-kilometre route around the campus. During an initial test period, one bus will be used, with full operation using two buses planned for the start of next year.

The route starts at Blå havet, continues along Corson to Campushallen and then follows the bus-only street back to the start. Eight bus stops have been set up along the route, and the complete journey takes 10-15 minutes, depending on such factors as how crowded the street is and whether the bus meets any obstacles.

Staff onboard to monitor the driving

The route is serviced seven days a week during the daytime, but does not follow an exact timetable. It will also be adapted for accessibility, to be able to carry a wheelchair.
The bus does not have a driver, but a customer-service agent will always be onboard who monitors the driving. Travel on the buses, which have a capacity of 10-13 passengers, will be free of charge, and they will not be part of the ordinary public transport network.

The buses are one component in a research collaboration looking at sustainable mobility within the framework for the strategic partnership between LiU and Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI). The Elin project is a collaboration between Linköping University, VTI, Linköping Municipality, Östgötatrafiken, Science Park Mjärdevi, RISE, Transdev and Akademiska hus.

The buses started service on 6 December 2019. Come and take a ride into the future! More information is available at the project website: ridethefuture.se

 

Translated by George Farrants


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