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BVG and IAV bring new mobility to Alt-Tegel

The yellow minibus is coming back to Alt-Tegel – and it’s bringing reinforcements: A total of three highly automated shuttles will run for 12 months from the end of the year between Alt-Tegel underground station and Greenwich Promenade on Lake Tegel. IAV is a partner in the project, contributing over 20 years of experience in the field of automated driving. Passengers can use the minibuses operated by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) free of charge.

They can be chauffeured comfortably from the underground station to stroll along the promenade: This is made possible by the “Shuttles & Co” project launched in January on the digital urban traffic test field. The ten project partners – including the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection (overall coordination), the BVG, the Berlin Agency for Electric Mobility eMO and IAV – want to test automated and interconnected driving in public transport and gather experience on the opportunities and risks involved in shaping urban mobility of the future.

To this end, three highly automated shuttles will be in operation in Berlin’s Alt-Tegel district by the end of the year. The yellow fleet will be operated by BVG, which has already carried out a six-month test phase with a highly automated shuttle in 2019 in the “Sea Mile” project. BVG companions will also be on board the self-propelled minibuses of the “Shuttles & Co” project. However, with longer operating times, the vehicles now serve a larger area of operation between the Alt-Tegel underground station and the Greenwich Promenade on Lake Tegel. In addition to more demanding route guidance, the speed will also be increased by up to six kilometers per hour from the previous maximum 12 km/h to 18 km/h.

automotion: bvg und iav bringen neue mobilität

The project timetable also includes research into other basic technologies for the future digitalization of transport – in particular the improvement of digital maps and traffic information. The project builds on the findings of the “SAFARI” research project, which has already been completed. As part of this project, IAV and partners have developed and tested high-precision, self-updating digital maps that are fed by vehicles and smartphones.

IAV’s focus in the “Shuttles & Co” project is now on developing and integrating new perception functions in highly automated vehicles and optimizing communication between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure (V2X). Specifically, the focus is on improving the localization of vehicles in challenging environments: in tunnels and at junctions, for example. In addition to classical algorithms, algorithms from the field of artificial intelligence are also being tested.

«To this end, we are investigating how the exchange of information between vehicle and infrastructure and between the vehicles themselves can improve perception and ultimately driving functions.»

Paul Czerwionka — Project Manager for “Shuttles & Co” at IAV

Shuttles & Co

In addition to IAV, the “Shuttles and Co” project involves the Senate Administration for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection (overall coordination), the Berlin Transport Authority BVG, the Berlin Agency for Electromobility eMO, the German Aerospace Center, Fraunhofer FOKUS, the Free University of Berlin, Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH, the Technical University of Berlin and VMZ Berliner Betreibergesellschaft mbH.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

The article was published in automotion 02/2020, the automotive engineering magazine of IAV. Here you can order the automotion free of charge.

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