A daughter company of the German Railway are working with a consortium of project partners to realise an autonomous shuttle bus with teleoperation. The goal is to integrate rural areas better into the public transportation network. Bavaria has started a pilot project with the name “Bavarian Autonomous Remote Controlled Shuttle (BARCS) to promote such initiatives. The first step is to develop a demonstrator and afterwards evaluate technical parameters and user requirements. A sketch of the vehicle is shown here.
Consortium partners include German Railway Bus and several research institutions, and Blickfeld are responsible for the functioning of the lidar sensors.
Teleoperation means an operator in a fixed location supervises vehicles by camera and can intervene in case of critical situations or emergencies.
To realise reliable detection of the 360-degree surrounding of the vehicle, Blickfeld lidar sensors are used in combination with Stereo cameras. For purpose of this project, Blickfeld have adapted hardware as well as software interfaces to enable 360-degree perception.
The project is scheduled to run for three years, and is funded significantly by the Bavarian government.
Autonmous transport under control of “teleoperators” is a significant step in evolution toward full autonomy. It also creates a fruitful testing ground for sensor developers and suppliers under real-world conditions. Worldwide we see lots of such projects—big opportunities for participating lidar suppliers to increase their knowledge and steer their innovation. We will be keen to see Blickfield’s solutions in this project.