MM Awards

Self-driving buses hit the streets of Stockholm

David Murphy

The city of Stockholm, in Sweden, has launched a 6-month, self-driving bus pilot project, in partnership with Ericsson and other local companies and organisations, including Nobina, SJ, Stockholm City, Klövern, KTH and Urban ICT Arena. The aim of the project is to test the driverless buses over a longer period of time on public roads under real traffic conditions.

The testing will naturally include varying weather conditions, as well as remote take-over and human response. Ericsson is providing its Connected Urban Transport (CUT) platform, which includes monitoring of the self-driving buses. Testing of the buses’ connectivity to a 5G network is planned for the second half of the trial.

CUT supports near-instantaneous onboarding of thousands of connected traffic lights, warning signals and roadside infrastructure such as bus stops. With one central operational system, the aggregated data generated by these connected resources can be safely and securely shared across transport agencies within a city, and across multiple municipalities.

Each bus has one operator, and can carry up 10 11 passengers. It’s free to use. The buses are part of the Drive Sweden innovation project. Launched in 2015, Drive Sweden is a strategic innovation program launched by the Swedish government that gathers partners from all sectors of society to address the challenges and opportunities of road safety, adaptation of infrastructure and transport-related legislation.