As of Tuesday 10 September, the general public is invited to travel on the self-driving bus which has been tested on the city’s streets between the Metalli Centre and the V-Zug site on Industriestrasse since the beginning of January.
So far, only specially selected groups of people have been allowed to travel on the “MyShuttle” bus, as it is known. But, as of today, as mentioned, the SBB is allowing members of the general public to board for trips over a one-month trial period, the idea being to get their reactions. There will then follow further technical tests relating to customer information before the CHF 2.7-million project, jointly launched by the Mobility company, the Zugerland transport company (ZVB), the Zug Technology Cluster, the SBB and the city of Zug, is evaluated in its entirety at the end of this year.
As mentioned, those behind the project want to know how well such a self-driving bus will be accepted by the public, and to what extent the technology behind it is up to the bus coping in city traffic and where its limits may lie. Martin Küchler of the ZVB explained that the bus followed virtual rails, but the onboard computer could not detect red or green signals. However, it does automatically stop if a pedestrian passes in front of it on a zebra crossing. Wind, rain and snow also adversely affect the operation of the bus.
Previous tests with invited passengers indicated great interest and trust in the service, albeit when a driver was present for reasons of safety.
As previously reported, the main problem so far has been the slow speed of the vehicle, manufactured by the Easymile company of Toulouse, under certain conditions, though this is being remedied.
The public will not be charged for travelling on the bus on its which is being made available to them between 9 am and noon, and 1 pm and 4 pm, on working days. No reservations are necessary, either.