A few weeks after its participation in the International Transport System World Congress in France (ITS World Congress), BestMile signs its first commercial project with CarPostal, the company leading the sector of public transportation in Switzerland. This collaboration between the EPFL spin-off and the subsidiary of the Swiss Post will allow to operate autonomous vehicles in urban areas.
For the first time in Switzerland, locals and visitors to the city of Sion, Valais, will experience for a two year period this new means of public transport: autonomous shuttles. These smart vehicles have capacity for 9 passengers and will operating on public roads since the spring of 2016. Ultimately, the goal of CarPostal is to complete its offer regarding public transportation, especially in remote areas.
Technology developed hand in hand with the EPFL
The operation of autonomous vehicles in the city of Sion is only the visible part of a much more ambitious project. The laboratory of urban transport systems (LUTS) from the EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) and BestMile are working together since this autumn to develop a new generation of mathematical algorithms. This research, conducted as part of a 2-year project supported by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) must allow BestMile to consolidate its leading position in the world of fleet management for autonomous vehicles.
The algorithms developed with the EPFL will take into consideration all the different scenarios that autonomous vehicles can find. These calculations are also looking forward to satisfy the needs of transport operators and travelers such as a flexible and reliable on-demand service. They will also be able to manage operations in real time while offering solutions at lower cost and with a minimum risk. All these features are presented from the perspective of managing an elastic fleet of vehicles interacting with the existing public transport systems.
Traveling with downwind
This project is also the starting point of the partnership between the French autonomous shuttles manufacturer Navya and BestMile. Many other partnerships and commercial projects are planned for 2016.
To support the above mentioned projects and the improvements on its technology, BestMile is currently raising funds. Since its founding 2 years ago, BestMile has been actively participating in different successful projects, such as the European project CityMobil2 on the campus of EPFL. The first external investment will allow BestMile to accelerate its development while launching its technology worldwide.Read more