The Digitrans eVAN as the new “Digibus 2.0” during initial test drives in the Salzburg municipality of Koppl; Owner DigiTrans eVAN: DigiTrans GmbH, © Salzburg Research
Based on experience from the flagship project Digibus ® Austria, automated passenger transport is tested for connecting a peri-urban area to an intermodal mobility hub. The self-driving vehicle – Digibus® 2.0 – is, like its predecessor, offering a bus route in the municipality of Koppl (Salzburg). These public demonstrations are free of charge and can be used by commuters, tourists, day trippers and anybody interested in innovative transportation methods.
From May to November 2023, the research vehicle Digibus® 2.0 will be back on track, running in Koppl. The shuttle will run five days a week according to a fixed timetable, complementing the already existing public transport solution, shortening the cycle time to half an hour. The timetable is aligned with the arrival and departure times of the buses, which will be transporting the passengers to Salzburg or Bad Ischl. As with previous public demonstrations, it is mandatory that a trained safety operator will be on board, who will monitor the operation of the vehicle and can intervene at any time.
For this pilot operation, a standard VW e-Crafter was equipped with additional sensor systems and software to be retrofitted into a self-driving research vehicle. In addition, the vehicle is able to communicate with the roadside infrastructure (roadside units) by means of an onboard unit. This communication method is known as V2X-communication (vehicle to everything communication) with the goal to increase traffic safety and to enable a more efficient control of public transport.
Salzburg Research conducts this demo operation within the European research project “SHOW – SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption“. SHOW aims to explore the deployment of electric, connected and automated fleets for passenger transport and for logistics in (peri-)urban environments in Europe. The European Union in the course of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement Nr. 75530) funds the project SHOW.
The research vehicle “Digitrans eVAN”, that runs in Koppl as the Digibus® 2.0, is provided by DigiTrans GmbH for Austrian research activities. It is funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action via the Austrian Research Promotion Agency.
Kapsch TrafficCom AG is in charge of this infrastructure and the realization of C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems)-services.