Volvo Buses has conducted a live demonstration of a 12m electric and autonomous bus at a depot in Gothenburg. The demonstration, conducted with bus operator Keolis, took place at a bus depot just outside Gothenburg, and the 12m autonomous bus successfully drove itself between the parking bay and several workstations including cleaning, servicing and electric charging, before parking itself in the correct bay while carrying passengers.
“This marks a very important step in our autonomous journey as we now have successfully shown the commercial benefits an autonomous solution can deliver in a bus depot,” says Håkan Agnevall, president, Volvo Buses. “Autonomous buses in depots bring new benefits such as more efficient traffic flows, higher productivity, less damages and improved safety. The industry-common charging interface OppCharge is ideally suited for autonomous charging, eliminating the need to connect power cables to the bus in the depot.
Jan Kilström, CEO, Keolis, Sweden, adds: “The new mobility technology will be more common in 5-10 years. Bringing the new technology into today’s depot business and developing it will not only speed up development, it will improve our performance, ensuring that our passengers benefit over the coming years.”
ABB also participated in the demonstration using its high-power electric bus chargers with automated rooftop connection.
“We are still many years away from seeing fully-autonomous buses on public roads, but since bus depots are confined areas with predictable and repetitive traffic flows, we see autonomous buses being used there much sooner,” adds Agnevall. “Working together with Keolis has given us this unique opportunity to test an autonomous bus in real conditions and will help us drive the development of autonomous solutions forward.”