Autonomous HEAT is on in Germany

For the first time in Germany, an autonomous minibus is allowed to operate in public downtown streets with passengers at speeds of up to 25 km/h (15.5 mp/h). From now until the end of November initially, passengers can book a ride on the HEAT (Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transportation) autonomous shuttle in Hamburg from operator Hamburger Hochbahn via its website and an app.

Due to infection prevention measures resulting from the pandemic, the shuttle can carry up to three passengers at a time in addition to the vehicle attendant and a technical support specialist. In addition, one of four specially trained vehicle attendants as well as a technical support specialist will always be onboard. The autonomous shuttle bus is also equipped with an information system for passengers.

HEAT benefits from roadside infrastructure, which provides additional data about what is happening on the road and reports it to the shuttle, including information about vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians who are outside the field of vision of its sensors. The project is part of the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) strategy by the Free and Hanseatic City and will be presented at next year’s ITS World Congress in Hamburg.

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