12/16/2016 The Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises is currently promoting the first European autonomous bus, "Olli", as part of the pilot project "First Mover". The bus was built by the Berlin-based company Local Motors.
The test run on the EUREF campus in Schöneberg is intended to collect valuable information to support the development of the electric and self-driving vehicle, with the goal of launching series production in Berlin.
The American company Local Motors settled in Berlin in 2015 with the support of the Berlin Agency for Electromobility eMO. Small buses of the "Olli" type will be produced in a so-called "micro-factory" in Alt-Treptow. Innovative 3-D printing technology is used to manufacture 40% of the vehicle.
Ramona Pop, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, stresses the importance of projects like "First Mover": "In future, smart solutions will be needed to handle the rise in traffic in the growing city. Electrified and self-driving minibuses can make an important contribution here. The self-driving minibuses can complement passenger transport by means of public transportation in the car-sharing model, but also for logistics in an environmentally friendly way that reduces traffic. Comprehensive test phases are still needed before this technology can be successful. This is why we are supporting the development and testing of a driverless shuttle system in Berlin."
Gernot Lobenberg, head of the Berlin Agency for Electromobility eMO, explains the importance of companies like Local Motors to the capital: "The future of mobility will be networked, automated, shared and electric, all over the world. Local Motors is one of the new Berlin companies that has responded magnificently to this trend, translating it into concrete projects and products."
Other partners include InnoZ, commissioned by Deutsche Bahn AG, as well as EUREF AG, which provides traffic spaces and infrastructure for the project.
Find more information about the "First Mover" project here (German).