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Nordic première for self-driving buses

The first driverless buses in the Nordic countries are now on public roads, giving riders a taste of the public transportation of tomorrow. The project is a part of the Government’s innovation partnership program, “The next generation’s travel and transport,” and is funded in part by Vinnova through Drive Sweden.
The Nordic première in Kista of the first self-driving buses on public roads.

In Kista, the well-known IT cluster in northwest Stockholm, driverless buses have been available since mid-January for passengers to ride for free along a stretch of road just over a kilometer long.

The project, named “Autopilot,” is being run by the bus company Nobina in cooperation with Ericsson, Swedish Railways, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the real estate company Klövern, Urban ICT Arena and the City of Stockholm. It is being funded through Drive Sweden, the strategic innovation program hosted by Lindholmen Science Park that brings together players in the business sector, academia, and the public sector.

Among the speakers at the inauguration of this unique bus route was Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, chairperson of Drive Sweden, who spoke about the company’s role of bringing together social stakeholders:

“This is the typical Swedish model that allows us to work together broadly like this – around issues of legislation, and around testing and getting things started,” she said.

The project in Kista will run for six months and involve two buses, each of which carries 11 passengers and a “conductor.” It will be a supplement to established public transportation for the purpose of improving accessibility – in short, facilitating everyday door-to- door travel.

“We can be proud that we’ve come so far – Sweden leads the world in this field alongside the Netherlands, Singapore, and the US,” Catharina said.

Drive Sweden is pursuing the development of a transportation system for both people and cargo based on automation, digitization, and services.

The initiative attracted considerable media attention - below are a few examples (Swe):

Aftonbladet

Sveriges Radio

Dagens Nyheter