In February 2018, VBZ conducted a test operation with a self-driving «last mile shuttle». The self-driving and electrically powered vehicle was called «Self-e». The minibus ran for a good two weeks on a fixed route on the VBZ site and was accompanied by trained VBZ employees from the driving service, who could have intervened in an emergency.
The traffic situation on the VBZ site can not be compared with the complex traffic in a city centre. The test operation with «Self-e» enabled all employees to ride along with the vehicle and to familiarise themselves with the current state of the technology, as well as to recognise future challenges and opportunities.
Even if the current limits of the technology are evident, automated driving is developing rapidly. VBZ employees have therefore engaged with possible solutions for the mobility of the future in workshops. Raising employees’ awareness of new technical developments is important in order to make use of the great mobility expertise within the company and to prepare VBZ for future developments in all divisions of the company.
At the accompanying workshops, around 200 people developed ideas for the mobility of the future. In addition to employees from all divisions of VBZ, staff from the city of Zurich also took part in the workshops. Additionally, participants from the Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT) of the ETH Zurich attended the workshop. Through the inclusion of different professional profiles and different perspectives, a lot of knowledge for the future could be gathered and visions made tangible.
Self-e project video: