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10.9 million euros to support autonomous public transport in Kelheim, Germany

10.9 million euros to support autonomous public transport in Kelheim, Germany

KelRide project promotes self-driven public transport service

Yesterday, 29 March 2021, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure officially approved 10.9 million euros funding to support the city of Kelheim. They will be used for the KelRide project that aims to promote autonomous driven vehicles that could be introduced into the public transportation network of the city. For the first time in Germany, fully automated buses would be available for on-demand booking as a new means of public transportation.

Supporting the urban infrastructure

The buses will be introduced into the urban public transportation infrastructure and run on a network built on the consortium partners' industry-leading technologies and expertise in autonomous vehicles. EasyMile, which provides the technology and the software solutions, is one of the companies partnering in the project along with the Technical University of Berlin's Department of Traffic System Planning and Traffic Telematics. 

“Together with strong partners, we will drive the development of state-of-the-art technology for a future-oriented form of public transport in Kelheim. The knowledge we gain from KelRide serves as a possible solution for comparable mobility systems in other areas in order to ensure the regional accessibility of the population in the long term," said Kelheim’s District Administrator, Martin Neumeyer.

The KelRide project tackles two main problems of autonomous driving: the potential of fully automated cars to run efficiently in all-weather environments, as well as the effective and smooth incorporation of automated mobility into the public transport network. Today's driverless mobility systems are hindered by unfavourable weather conditions such as heavy snowfall, rain, or fog. This is regarded as one of the few outstanding obstacles for self-driving cars.

The project will run until 2023 and during this period it will have an important role to determine to what extent existing sensor technologies can be used in typical Central European weather conditions. The project will not only help Kelheim optimize its public transport. Rural areas will benefit, too, by becoming more mobile and connected.

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