One of Germany’s most ambitious mobility projects was launched this month. With the aim to integrate an autonomous shuttle bus into regular street traffic, HEAT (Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transportation) is reaching its next milestone: The approval to operate a test run with passengers.
Since Oct. 23, for the first time in Germany, an autonomous minibus is allowed to operate in public downtown streets with passengers at speeds of up to 25 km/h. From now until the end of November initially, passengers can experience HEAT for themselves. They can book rides for the autonomous shuttle via app. Operating hours are published at www.hochbahn.de/heat. The HEAT app, which offers users free registration for rides, can also be downloaded there.
A mask covering the nose and mouth is required in compliance with corona regulations. Due to infection prevention measures resulting from the pandemic, the shuttle can carry up to three passengers at a time in addition to the vehicle attendant and a technical support specialist. For passenger operation, the autonomous shuttle bus also is equipped with an information system for passengers.
One special feature of the HEAT project compared to other autonomously driving vehicles is the roadside infrastructure. It provides additional data about what is happening on the road and reports it to the shuttle – including information about vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians who are outside the field of vision of its sensors.