Whoever wants to get a small impression of what public transport might look like in the future can experience this every day on the banks of the Main until July 2020. On the side closed to traffic, between the Old Bridge and the Iron Footbridge, autonomous vehicles are running for test purposes. These are fully electric, CO2-free, quiet, safe and efficient. Daily from 13 to 19 o'clock you can try out the futuristic vehicles free of charge at the Mainkai.
The vehicles have a 700 meter long test track at their disposal, which is permanently programmed. Interested passengers can get on and off at the specially equipped stops "Alte Brücke", "Eiserner Steg" and "Untermainbrücke". The pilot project called EASY (Electric Autonomous Shuttle for You) will explore how the new technology can be integrated into the public transport of the future.
"We think the public transport of the future beyond bus and train and autonomous driving is an exciting technology. Autonomous vehicles can ideally complement public transport on the first and last mile as on-demand traffic, improve services on the edges of the day, and develop the countryside even further. What must be done to make this vision a reality is what we want to find out with our tests," says RMV Managing Director Prof. Knut Ringat. The RMV subsidiary fahma had already bought the vehicles from the manufacturer EasyMile in early summer and they are now being used for the first time in Frankfurt.
The two vehicles each offer six seats and drive completely independently at a speed of up to 15 kilometres per hour. However, an operator is always on board. The central location of the route in the Main metropolis offers an optimal test environment, according to Klaus Oesterling, Head of the Traffic Department of the City of Frankfurt: "Closed Main banks and autonomous driving: changing mobility needs require new approaches. The city of Frankfurt thus plays an important role in the testing of autonomous vehicles. traffiQ Managing Director Dr.-Ing. Tom Reinhold explains another advantage of this public test: "Our passengers directly experience the mobility of tomorrow. Getting to know the vehicles and driving them yourself is the best way to get enthusiastic about this new technology - it can be the future of an even more customer-friendly local transport system."
VGF is responsible for daily operations. "Being able to gain experience with autonomous vehicles yourself is a huge opportunity for a transport company. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, we at Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt take care of operations, technical support and the accompanying personnel for the vehicles during the project," says VGF Managing Director Michael Rüffer. "The pilot project will receive scientific support from the University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt, which is supported by the House of Logistics & Mobility (HOLM) as a regional development and networking platform. The interdisciplinary team will interview the passengers of the EASY shuttles as well as other stakeholders in order to identify future applications for autonomous vehicles in public transport.
Further information can be found at: www.probefahrt-zukunft.de
Trial time of trial operation: 20.09.2019 to 31.07.2020. However, at some major events at Mainkai the company pauses.
Operating period: Daily from 13:00 - 19:00 hrs