First ride of a self driving shuttle bus on Brussels Health Campus

  • August 23, 2019

Today, there was the very first ride of a self driving shuttle bus on the Brussels Health Campus in Jette. 'Automated Shuttle Service for Brussels Health Campus' is an Innoviris funded project with a consortium of 3 research groups: MOBI, SMIT and LOUISE. The goal of this project is to improve the relationship between human and machine. From next Monday on, students and staff will be able to use the shuttle bus from the studenthouses to the mainbuilding of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy.

The second route will be available in November 2019 and expand to public roads. With a ‘loop’ of approximately 1 km, it will connect the main car parks, the bus stops in the immediate surrounding and the main entrance to the hospital. Besides students and staff, patients and visitors to the hospital will then also be able to use the shuttle.

The 3 research groups from two universities (MOBI and SMIT from VUB, and LOUISE from ULB) and the UZB acting as facilitator, aim to answer two central research questions: ‘How can an automated shuttle service facilitate mobility for all stakeholders on private and public domain?’ and ‘What are best practices and pitfalls for organizing a field implementation of a pilot project for autonomous vehicles in the Brussels Capital Region?’.

The selected shuttle bus is an EZ10 model from the French manufacturers Easy Mile from Toulouse. The fully electrically powered vehicle can accommodate 12 people (6 seats and 6 standing places) and is equipped with an access platform for wheelchair users. Thanks to a system of sensors, cameras and GPS, the EZ10 recognizes its route and stops, as well as possible obstacles or unexpected situations. There will always be an operator on board for manual operation in case of a breakdown or obstacle on the set route. Emergency stops switches and sensitive doors complete the safety package.