Driverless Buses Now Rolling in Sweden


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In Stockholm, Sweden, two shuttle buses with self-driving technology are now sharing the road with pedestrians and other vehicles. The self-driving buses can travel up to 24 kph, carry up to 12 passengers, and maneuver the road using a unique platform called Connected Urban Transport.

Connected Urban Transport is a smart technology developed by Ericsson that acts as the driver of the buses. It communicates with the driverless shuttle buses about locations of bus stops equipped with sensors, the status of traffic lights, and infrastructures on the road. The platform is powered by the company’s Internet of Things Accelerator to support to data it requires. Moreover, the platform can be used across multiple cities using the IoT service. So far, the innovation of Ericsson has reduced the road congestion in the Netherlands by 10 percent during peak hours.

Driverless buses have already been planned in another city in Sweden since last month. The Gothenburg City Planning Authority will be testing the efficiency of driverless buses in two areas of the city this spring. The local government is working closely with Volvo, Nobina, RISE, and KTH to enact the plan.

“Through this project, we are mapping and linking technological outcomes to our current urban planning system. Based on the deepening of the city’s comprehensive plan, we can see how the new conditions that emanate from this technology will have a bearing on our potential to build a good, sustainable city. The lessons that we learn will also provide valuable data that can be passed on to those responsible for developing the technology,” said Anna Svensson, project manager at the City Planning Authority.

Driverless vehicles primarily reduce the expensive costs of labor. But the government is hoping that autonomous technology can solve the wildlife accidents suffered by Swedish drivers.