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Driverless on demand shuttles in training

Toy-like shuttles – empty apart from a safety operator and guided by sensors, GPS and radar – are currently driving around the Belle-Idée hospital site in Geneva. The white and orange vehicles are the centrepiece of a unique driverless public transport experiment.

This summer, a small team began testing the ten-seater vehicles, mapping out the huge Belle-Idée park and its obstacles. In parallel, a Geneva-based start-up, MobileThinking, has been putting the finishing touches to an app that will be tried out by the first passengers before the end of the year.

Then when the project is up and running in the next couple of years, patients, visitors and staff will be able to get around the sprawling complex by using their smartphone to order one of three buses offering an on-demand door-to-door service.

Users will be able to locate a bus via the app, then send a pick-up request. Software from the Lausanne firm Bestmile will indicate when a bus is available and what the journey time will be. A fleet management system will then adapt the vehicle’s route according to other passenger requests.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR