EasyMile's EZ10 shuttle bus becomes first autonomous vehicle operating in Germany
A German railway company called Deutsche Bahn has welcomed the first autonomous vehicle to the roads of Germany, in the form of EasyMile’s EZ10 shuttle bus.
The EZ10 shuttle bus is currently operating in Bad Birnbach, which is a municipality in the district of Rottal-Inn in Bavaria, Germany.
The vehicle, which has one staff member onboard to take over operation of the vehicle if necessary, will be used on a route that is approximately 700 meters long, from the town center to the thermal baths. Next year, the route will be extended to connect the town center and rail station.
“We are the first company in Germany to bring autonomous vehicles to the roads and to local public transport,” says Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn.
“Our aim is to further integrate road and rail so as to enable individual mobility even in rural areas without the need to own a car.”
District administrator Michael Fahmüller adds, “for the district of Rottal-Inn, the autonomous bus is a flagship project that sends a clear signal. People especially in rural areas like this still depend on cars. With the regular autonomous bus services starting today in Bad Birnbach, the town is showcasing the mobility of the future and a more flexible form of local public transport, particularly for rural areas. We are proud to be playing this pioneering role.”
Getting the vehicle on the road was a team effort, as Deutsche Bahn worked with Rottal-Inn, Bad Birnbach, EasyMile and TÜV Süd, which is a leading technical service organization.
Besides getting customers to their destinations without drivers, Deutsche Bahn would also like to make it possible for passengers to request a bus whenever they need one. Under the company’s new “ioki” brand, on demand services, with and without drivers, are being brought together.