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Artificial Intelligence

Elektro-Emma is driving autonomously along the Rhine river, Germany

According to the public transport company in Mainz, Germany, it has launched the first test of a self-driving e-bus in public areas. Users can take free rides on the banks of the Rhine.

16 Aug. 2018
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Elektro-Emma is driving autonomously along the Rhine river, Germany (Photo: Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft)

The vehicle responds to the name Emma (Electromobility Mainz autonomous) and was produced by the French manufacturer Navya . This eight-seater will drive several hundred meters autonomously for four weeks along the Mainz Rhine promenade. However, it is not entirely without a driver. The transport company has trained six drivers, one of whom is always on board as an operator to intervene in an emergency. In addition, they reported on the progress of the project in the weeks leading up to the launch along with project partner R+V Versicherung . The 4.75 m long bus, equipped with sensors, has already “learned” the track, during test drives in July.

Both Mainzer Mobilität, as the local transport company is called, and the insurer have good reasons for the test. The former wants to find out, among other things, how autonomously the buses can drive and how passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists respond. R+V, in turn, expects the test run to provide important experience for insurance concepts. However, this is not the first test for them with the small, almost silent buses. In October 2017, they were already operating in mixed traffic on a busy street at the Frankfurt Airport . Two months later, on five working days they were deployed parallel to the flow of road traffic at the pharmaceutical location Behringwerke in Marburg .