Research for the development of the last mile by public transport in Magdeburg

Between 3 September and 19 December 2021, the automated shuttle bus "Elbi" of the AS-Urban ÖPNV project, which is headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hartmut Zadek (Head of the Logistics Department at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg), drove through Magdeburg.

Photographer: Olga Biletska, OVGU Magdeburg

The bus travelled on a 2.3 km loop route, making 4 stops to connect an area of the southern downtown with the Rothehornpark. It ran daily between Tuesday and Sunday and was free of charge for all interested citizens.

This route was carefully selected because "Elbi" is still subject to a number of restrictions, such as a speed limit of 15 kilometres per hour. The self-driving minibus also had its own requirements. These included a maximum route length of 5 kilometres, good network coverage of at least 3G or 4G, and fixed points such as the edges of houses that did not exceed a height of 3 metres. These characteristics were met and partly created on the route between Seumestraße and Rothehornpark - a green oasis in the city.

Up to six people could be taken from one place to another at half-hourly intervals starting at 10:05 am. The small bus was intended to be a supplement to the already existing local public transport and supports the bus line 59. Also the timetable of "Elbi" was integrated and was indicated in the timetable information system INSA.

User-friendliness is a key claim of the developers. Accessibility was also to be tested in the pilot operation. In addition, a user survey was created, which was open between 28 September and 19 December. The results of this survey will be published in the coming months. The whole project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) from the European Union and the Ministry of Regional Development and Transport of Saxony-Anhalt (Germany).

After the end of the test operation, "Elbi" went into tests of a prototype operational control centre until the end of February. These took place in a non-public space and are intended to optimize the user-friendliness of the control centre applications.

So what is behind "Elbi"?

The EZ10 from the company EasyMile GmbH has already been tested worldwide since 2015. With its 4.02m length and 1,850kg, its operating time is 6 to 10 hours after 10 hours of charging.

The "Elbi" shuttle bus is being used in Magdeburg to research the development of an intelligent mobility space. The aim is to integrate the autonomous shuttle buses into the local public transport system so that better connections and a possibility for the "last mile" can be created. This is the distance between public transport and the place of residence, which is often more than a 10-minute walk, especially in rural areas, but can also be further distances in urban areas.

Contact person:

Prof. Hartmut Zadek
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Institute for Logistics and Material Flow Technology

Gebäude 10, Raum 253, Universitätsplatz 2, 39106 Magdeburg

zadek@ovgu.de

Sources: 

http://urban-shuttle.ovgu.de/. Last seen on: 04.03.2022, 10:04.

https://www.befragungen.ovgu.de/Nutzerbefragung_Shuttlebus/ . Last seen on: 03.03.2022, 11:00.

https://www.mvbnet.de/automatisierter-shuttlebus-elbi-startet-pilotbetrieb/. Last seen on: 03.03.2022, 10:45.

https://easymile.com/. Last seen on: 03.03.2022, 10:30.

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