STL Line 13

With Line 13, the Swiss Transit Lab is about to take another step in the development of automated mobility in public transport. With the planned pilot project, a pilot line will be put into operation in the city center of Schaffhausen between the train station and the Stahlgiesserei development area before the end of this year. Following the tourist application of line 12 at the Rhine Falls, the development of the first and last mile by automated vehicles should thus arrive in the everyday life of the population of Schaffhausen.

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First use of dual-mode technology on Swiss roads

In 2019, the Swiss Transit Lab launched the first pilot operation with a self-driving bus on Line 12 at the Rhine Falls, integrated into the public transport network of Verkehrsbetriebe Schaffhausen VBSH. With this experience and the knowledge gained in the background, the STL and its project partners are now going a step further: With Line 13, an automated vehicle (Level 4) with dual-mode technology is being used in a pilot project for the first time in Switzerland. With dual-mode technology, a commercially available vehicle – in the case of Line 13, a Toyota minibus with electric drive – is equipped with sensors, actuators (drive-by-wire) and corresponding control software for automated driving.




An application object for research and development


The aim of the new project is to gather experience for the expansion of the first and last mile and to develop this service together in dialog with users. At the same time, the vehicle is an application object for further technologies, services and business models related to automated driving. It offers interested companies and researchers the opportunity to deploy their own technologies on the vehicle and thereby gain valuable insights for their use and further development. Various discussions are underway for such application projects.




A route in the city center of Schaffhausen


In a first step, the automated vehicle will run between Schaffhausen’s North Station and the new Stahlgiesserei district. A new district is currently being built where tons of steel were once cast. The area, with around 450 apartments and plenty of commercial space, provides the ideal setting for the participatory pilot project Line 13.

On the route from the north train station to the northern tip of the steel foundry (Breitestieg), Line 13 will largely rely on existing vbsh stops. Later, expansion to additional routes is envisaged. In order to ensure a high degree of flexibility in the context of research and development, Line 13 will be part of the local public transport network but will not be integrated into the official Swiss fare and timetable system. The service will be free of charge for passengers, not least for this reason.


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