The biggest self-driving project in Norway is a collaboration between Oslo Municipality, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Ruter and Autonomous Mobility. In a near future self-driving buses could run to and from a subway station or a local center or in a hospital area, essentially connecting inner cities.
The project is an important milestone in the process of getting self-driving buses to the Oslo area. Oslo and Akershus wishes to have 0% emissions across their public transportation and this project will test if self-driving buses can support these ambitions for a sustainable public transport system.
The contract covers a three-year trial project and is an important milestone in the process of implementing autonomous buses in the Oslo area. All parties wish to learn as much as possible throughout the process and develop the project during the trial period. The end goal is for autonomous buses to be part of Ruter's regular offer in a few years.
Akershusstranda - first phase of the project
On May 20th we will launch the first phase of the pilot project in Norway, in Akershusstranda. The shuttle service will travel on a route from Vippetangen, to the town hall city square and back again. This takes the shuttle service past the cruise-terminal and along the harbour front, traveling a total of 1,3 kilometers each way.
Akershusstranda is a very central area and, especially in the summer months, it is filled with tourists and locals who come down to the waterfront for shopping, leisure activities and great restaurants. The shuttles at Akerhusstranda are available for anyone who wants to jump on, but we expect to have a lot of visitors from the Copenhagen ferry, as well as locals who want to travel back and forth.
The shuttle service will be made up of 2 buses in the beginning and they have been named Mads and Oda - both wrapped in the signature red Ruter color, so the fit in nicely with the other buses in the city.
Where are we now?
We are currently doing the last preparations for the Akershusstranda route, which will be up and running at the end of May. We are training operators on site and working closely with our partners to make sure everything is ready for the launch.
Whilst the service at Akerhusstranda is soon to be up and running, we are also working on the next phase of the project. Determining routes and needs in a different area of the Oslo municipality, whilst working on the necessary applications and permits.
Facts about the project
Even though the buses are considered autonomous, there will be a person on board to assist passengers, answer questions and assist the bus if driving issues arise.
Autonomous Mobility offers Ruter three bus types with seating for 10-14 passengers. In addition, we have an autonomous car that seats six passengers. What type of bus eventually arrives in Oslo will be clarified later on in the project, depending on where they will operate.