Laura Andres is a Project Manager with Transports Publics Fribourgeois (TPF), the public transport provider in Fribourg, Switzerland, and oversees TPF’s autonomous shuttle service connecting the city’s bus network with the Marly Innovation Center (MIC) business park.
Why did TPF select autonomous shuttles to connect the MIC with TPF’s bus network?
We analyzed with our partners all of the options with conventional buses but none was efficient. Therefore, we decided to try autonomous shuttles to serve the last mile between the bus network and the MIC.
What were the biggest challenges in deploying the service?
The biggest challenge was to exploit this new line like the other bus lines because we consider it to be an official line integrated with the Swiss transport public network. The changes in the environment and the weather greatly influenced the shuttles during deployment which is not the case with conventional buses.
How long has the service been running?
The service has been running since September 2017.
What have been the strongest benefits to TPF and to the MIC?
The strongest benefit for the MIC is that the employees have an attractive transport public service with a shuttle every 15 minutes in peak hours. TPF has acquired a great deal of knowledge on the technology and operation of autonomous vehicles.
How has the public responded to the service?
Commuters take the shuttle like a normal transport public mode. Ridership has been steadily growing.
How does Bestmile help?
Bestmile helps us to collect data about the operation and to coordinate the two shuttles. The Bestmile web portal gives information to our customers about real-time circulation.
What does the future hold for TPF and autonomous mobility?
TPF has submitted a request to the Swiss authorities to carry out a new two-year MIC test phase.