SmartShuttles transport visitors in Hanover
Press release dated 20 March 2017
The world’s first SmartShuttle is already operating on the streets of Sion. PostBus has now procured two additional autonomous vehicles and will be deploying them at CeBIT in Hanover from 20 to 24 March: The SmartShuttles will transport visitors at the world’s biggest IT fair.
Since summer 2016, the two PostBus and Swiss Post SmartShuttles have transported more than 16,000 people around the center of Sion. The small buses have 11 seats, no steering wheel and no driver. There is a safety attendant on board, who monitors the systems and can take control should the need arise. The testing will continue until autumn, with PostBus playing a pioneering role here: the small buses run on public roads and are freely accessible to all passengers.
Now Swiss Post is bringing its testing to Hanover. At the request of CeBIT management, two SmartShuttles will transport visitors through entrance hall 13 over the five days of the fair. The shuttles will be showing what they are capable of: they are also confronted with obstacles along the route, such as a busy pedestrian crossing and bicycles. With the SmartShuttle@CeBIT app, you can see where in the hall the shuttles are located from anywhere in the world.
Despite the deployment in Germany, operations in Sion are continuing as normal. In addition to the two shuttles Valère and Tourbillon, which operate in Sion, PostBus has two addition autonomous vehicles of the same design which are now operating in Hanover: one is based in Berne, the other in Lyon at CarPostal France. They are operated for demonstration purposes at company premises or events. These two shuttles were also built by the French company Navya, and the software for fleet management was developed by Swiss start-up BestMile.
PostBus is one of the first in the world to operate autonomous buses for passenger transport on public roads. Interest among experts has been very high since the launch and also at previous CeBIT events. CeBIT is the world’s largest trade fair for information technology and has been held annually since 1986 at the Hanover exhibition grounds. It welcomed 200,000 visitors last year, 90 percent of whom were IT professionals.
Swiss SmartShuttle and its white-painted French brother in hall 13 at CeBIT in Hanover. (Image: PostBus)