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Switzerland set to become pioneer of autonomous mobility

A number of mobility providers have joined forces to establish the Swiss Association for Autonomous Mobility. The organization aims to position Switzerland as a pioneer within the field of autonomous mobility solutions. The founding members are made up of companies, universities and associations.

In 2018 and 2019, the Swiss Transit Lab was able to gain experience with autonomously driving buses in regular service on Line 12 to the Rhine Falls.
In 2018 and 2019, the Swiss Transit Lab was able to gain experience with autonomously driving buses in regular service on Line 12 to the Rhine Falls. Image credit : Swiss Transit Lab

Switzerland is set to become a pioneer for efficient and autonomous mobility. This is the stated aim of the recently founded Swiss Association for Autonomous Mobility. According to a press release, the Bern-based association is focused on promoting next-generation sustainable mobility solutions, establishing a network of various stakeholders and supporting the exchange of research and development insights. A select range of innovative ideas in the field of mobility is also to be promoted.

Providers join forces

The founding members of the association include transport companies such as the public transport operators in Basel, Bern, Geneva, in the canton of Freiburg, Zurich and in the canton of Zug. Moreover, mobility providers such as AMAG and Mobility in addition to associations including ACS, the Swiss Commercial Road Transport Association (ASTAG) and TCS are also all involved with the organization. Other founding members include the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), the Bern University of Applied Sciences and the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland – Valais (HES-SO Valais-Wallis). The Mobility Lab Sion and Swiss Transit Lab in Neuhausen am Rheinfall in the canton of Schaffhausen are bringing to the table practical experiences gained from the implementation of self-driving buses along certain serviced routes, while the association is open to further members joining too.

Thierry Burkart, FDP member of the Council of States Aargau, is President of the Board for the Swiss Association for Autonomous Mobility. Other board members include Martina Müggler from PostAuto, Bestmile co-founder Anne Mellano, Marino Grisanti from TPF, the public transport operator of the canton of Freiburg, and Jürg Wittwer, General Director of TCS.

Autonomous bus by app

Switzerland has already gained practical experiences in the field of autonomous mobility, specifically in connection with public transport. PostAuto, one of the founders of the new association, has operated two driverless buses in the city of Sion. In total, the vehicles have carried 54,000 passengers to date. Since April, a pilot project has been in progress in the Uvrier district allowing passengers to book a journey of their choice by app, telephone or screen at Uvrier station. The project is being funded as part of the Horizon 2020 EU research program.

Swiss Transit Lab, another founding member, carried out a pilot project in Neuhausen in 2018 and 2019. The driverless No. 12 bus route travelled from the town center to the Rhine Falls, transporting more than 35,000 passengers in the process.

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