The intelligent electric shuttle “Elbi” travels through Magdeburg from Friday at up to 15 kilometers per hour. By the end of the year, the six-seater minibus is to commute on a pre-programmed route between Seumstrasse in the old town and the city park. The EasyMile bus runs every half hour from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the journey is free.
Operators on board
The shuttle can also drive autonomously, i.e. completely without human intervention. However, this is not yet possible in Germany for legal reasons, among other things. Therefore, specially trained tram drivers travel as so-called operators. They intervene via touchscreen commands, for example, when the sensors and cameras of the shuttle have identified an obstacle and braked the vehicle.
The experiment is part of the research project “AS-Urban ÖPNV“of the University of Magdeburg. In addition to Magdeburg, the scientists have been researching the intelligent shuttles for several weeks with a similar pilot test in Stolberg (district of Mansfeld-Südharz).