16-12-2019

Research project on automated public transport vehicles

PTV software analyzes deployment possibilities in different transit areas

Karlsruhe, 16 December 2019. New York, London, Hamburg – Cities around the world are testing self-driving minibuses and shuttle vehicles. But what’s required to move from these still very limited test operations to regular options in public transportation? This was the focus of the “LEA (mini) bus” research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

Under the direction of the PTV Group, this research project examined the prerequisites and deployment possibilities for automated and electrically powered (mini) buses in public transport. In the process, the scientists illuminated the topic from all angles: starting with the status quo and current obstacles on through to the necessary technical sophistication. From design of the infrastructure and legal aspects to issues concerning operation and efficiency in different areas on through to acceptance in society. The examination incorporated previous experiences from international test operations, as well as expert interviews and surveys of authorities and the population.

An important component of the study was also a virtual analysis of the various deployment possibilities for fully automated and connected vehicles. What might regular operation look like when all the hurdles have been overcome? Using an actual transit model for the Stuttgart region created with PTV Visum, the researchers examined three different transit areas:

  • A residential area at the edge of a large city with commuter rail connection
  • A medium-sized city with core area and peripheral districts
  • A rural community

Two scenarios apiece were played through in each of these areas. On the one hand, regular service with a timetable and fixed stops; on the other hand, demand-oriented so-called on-demand transport with minibuses without schedule and fixed stops – in each case with fully automated and electric vehicles.

The simulation that took into account the real transport demand was able to demonstrate that using self-driving vehicles in public transport, especially minibuses, opens up a multitude of new possibilities for designing more flexible offerings and organizational operation. In addition, it can significantly reduce operating costs under certain conditions as compared to current public transport.

“In particular, there is significant potential for driverless on-demand transport in rural areas where demand is weak, where there are few buses today. In the urban environment, outlying areas and times can be served well,” explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Walther of PTV. “However, as soon as there is high demand and there are only limited possibilities for bundling trips, very large vehicle fleets are suddenly required, and these make operation inefficient. Regardless of whether large city or rural community, the key is always the actual conditions on-site. That’s why simulations that demonstrate the possible effects of vehicle deployments are especially important tools.“

About the LEA (mini) bus research project

The two-year (2017-2019) project "LEA (mini) bus - research into the prerequisites and possible applications of automated and electric (mini) buses in public transport" was carried out by a consortium consisting of PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG (management), PTV Transport Consult GmbH, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the consulting and auditing company Rödl & Partner GbR.

 

524 words. Author's copy kindly requested.

PTV. The Mind of Movement

PTV Group considera el tráfico y la logística como un todo a fin de diseñar una movilidad preparada para el futuro. La empresa, galardonada como líder en el mercado mundial, desarrolla soluciones de software inteligentes para la logística de transporte, así como para la planificación y la gestión del tráfico. Esto contribuye a que las ciudades, empresas y personas ahorren tiempo y costes, a que las carreteras sean más seguras y a minimizar los efectos sobre el medioambiente. PTV emplea sus conocimientos especializados únicos en el mundo en todas las facetas de la movilidad para que las personas y mercancías lleguen a su destino a tiempo, con seguridad y de un modo respetuoso con los recursos.

Más de 2500 ciudades utilizan productos PTV. Los transportes de más de un millón de vehículos se planifican con el software PTV. El modelo de transporte europeo, que cubre la totalidad de los desplazamientos de personas y del tráfico de mercancías de Europa, se desarrolla con software PTV. Para ello trabajan con pasión más de 900 compañeros en todo el mundo elaborando soluciones potentes. La sede principal en el corazón de la región tecnológica de Karlsruhe es un centro de desarrollo e innovación. Desde aquí, PTV planifica y optimiza desde 1979 todo lo que mueve a las personas y mercancías.

La empresa alemana PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG forma parte de PTV Group. www.ptvgroup.com

Back to overview

Contact

Corporate Communications
Stefanie Schmidt
Social Media Specialist

Phone:+49 721 - 9651 - 7451
E-Mail:stefanie.schmidt@ptvgroup.com


LEA (mini) bus examined the prerequisites and deployment possibilities for automated vehicles in public transport.

Download:

Prof. Dr. Christoph Walther, Head of Global Research at PTV.

Download: