Denmark’s first self-driving bus is currently running on a closed track at DTU. The ambition is to develop a pilot project for driverless transportation on DTU Lyngby Campus.
Denmark’s first self-driving bus is currently in operation on DTU Lyngby Campus. The bus, named Olli, is partially 3D-printed. The bus was created via open innovation processes, where students from all over the world have provided input on – and created – the iconic design.
Olli is operated by the Danish company Autonomous Mobility – part of automobile importers Semler Group – and has been supplied by the American company Local Motors. The bus was built at a microfactory in Berlin.
Over the coming months, the bus will be tested at DTU, and the ambition is for it to become a natural part of campus life while simultaneously providing students and researchers with access to the latest technology and data within self-driving mobility.
“With Olli as part of DTU’s Smart Campus Living Lab, DTU’s students and researchers will potentially have access to test and study the technologies associated with future dynamic transport systems, the interplay between autonomous systems and their surroundings, and the use of advanced sensor systems. I’m delighted that Autonomous Mobility has chosen to collaborate with DTU,”
says Executive Vice President, Provost Rasmus Larsen, DTU.
Olli is currently being tested at a closed area, but once the law on self-driving vehicles comes into force over the summer, DTU and Autonomous Mobility will work to ensure that Olli is part of an on-campus transport solution for students, staff, and visitors.
Both DTU Management Engineering and DTU Space have the ambition that Olli will contribute to research related to bus route optimization, transport on-demand, machine learning, and image recognition technology.
On digital tracks
The first time Olli negotiates a new route, it uses its three Lidars (Light Radar or Light Detection and Ranging) to measure the distance to the surroundings and to ensure safe navigation. Based on the first scan, Olli makes a 3D map which it follows in the future. You can compare Olli’s tracks with a kind of virtual rails.
With a top speed of 40 km/h, the electrically powered bus seats eight passengers. It will, however, only do between 10 and 20 km/h in the first test runs.
According to Peter Sorgenfrei, CEO of Autonomous Mobility, buses like Olli will in future serve as a neighbourhood-friendly shuttle service on, for example, DTU Campus and in hospital areas as well as a solution for municipalities and large companies transporting citizens and employees every day:
“Olli is a complement to public transportation and may be a supplement to cars,” says Peter Sorgenfrei and continues: “Over time, we imagine that Olli and other vehicles like Olli will solve a number of transport tasks for both the public and the private sector – and thus serve as shared, self-driving, sustainable helpers in a busy everyday life. We will reduce congestion, pollution, and the number of road traffic casualties by introducing sustainable technology that only focuses on transporting people safely from A to B.”
“It’s no use closing your eyes to the changes. We need to constantly keep up and try to influence the process.”
Professor Jan Madsen, DTU Compute