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The project aims at building knowledge on potentials and barriers for integrating autonomous vehicles without drivers in future public transport systems, and to understand how shared transport solutions can become preferred by more people. 


ITRL Contact: Mia Hesselgren

Research program: N/a

Time period: April 2021 - October 2023

Funded by: Vinnova FFI

Partners: Nobina Technology, Telia, SL/Region Stockholm, Järfälla kommun, Observit.

About the project:

One of the key factors for increasing travelling by public transport is higher availability, providing routes that go often and convenient bus stops close enough to your location. Since the cost of drivers stays the same no matter what size the bus is, smaller buses are usually economically unsustainable, making more populated areas and bigger roads prioritized over small ones. One solution to this problem is to provide autonomous buses that can cover new areas and increase the amount of routes without the cost of a driver.

Currently all autonomous vehicles in Sweden require an operator on-board to step in when problems arises that the vehicle itself cannot solve, for example in case of an accident or road work. However, a recent change in policy have opened up for permits to investigate autonomous buses without operators in live traffic.


The project aims to contribute with the following deliverables:

  • Methods for implementations of the vehicle directive without a driver on-board.
  • Knowledge to policymakers on how laws surrounding autonomous driving should be updated.
  • Models for usage of sensors for control towers according to camera laws
  • Develop a prototype of a control tower that can be used for operations without a driver.
  • Demonstration traffic with an autonomous electric bus
  • Knowledge of the interaction between humans and autonomous technology. 
  • Improvement and increased knowledge regarding usage of autonomous vehicles and limitations in mixed traffic.
  • Knowledge in how increased services in public transport can be used to meet the demands in new mobility with shared transport solutions.
  • Contribute to the integration of autonomous vehicles without operators as a natural part of public transport.