The FABULOS (Future Automated Bus Urban Level Operation Systems) project has launched its request for tenders to procure systems for the operation of automated bus lines. Nearly 5.5 million euros is available to companies to support their R&D work in developing systems capable of operating fleets of automated minibuses. The request for tenders is open until 31 October 2018.
On 1 September an international request for tenders was launched to acquire systems capable of operating fleets of automated minibuses within urban areas. All companies or consortia can apply, with the provision that at least 50% of the R&D needs to take place in the EU or Associated Countries.
Self-driving minibuses have already been tested in various countries, but a proof-of-concept for the management of autonomous fleets as part of the regular public transportation provision is not yet available. Therefore, evidence of the economic, technical, societal and legal maturity of the solution is required.
Sustainable traffic solutions
The six partner cities are embracing the FABULOS challenge by collectively procuring R&D for the prototyping and testing of smart systems that are capable of operating a fleet of self-driving minibuses in urban environments. These solutions are expected to be all-inclusive, encompassing software, hardware, fleet and services.
Only after the successful integration of these solutions, cities are able to provide considerably better and more sustainable transport solutions for their residents.
“Our aim is to mix walking, cycling and public transport to make it more attractive for people to leave their cars home – or not buy them at all. Automated minibuses could substantially improve the functionality of public transportation by providing agile last mile connections for residents,” says Anni Sinnemäki, the Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment for the City of Helsinki.
Pre-Commercial Procurement as a method
When the request for tenders is closed, the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process will be executed in three phases, ending in September 2020. The PCP challenges the industry to develop innovative solutions for public sector needs and it provides a first customer reference to enable companies to create competitive advantage on the market.
The first phase of the PCP process is a feasibility study of the selected technologies and proposals. Then, a selection of the most promising concepts will be developed into well-defined prototypes and lab-tested in phase two. The third phase aims to verify and compare the first end-products in real-life situations. In this third phase it is expected that three selected prototypes will be tested as small fleets of automated buses in Estonia, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.
In total, the FABULOS procurement budget is around 5,500,000 euros (including VAT). The maximum budget for individual suppliers involved in all three phases is over 1,000,000 euros (including VAT).
The tenders must be submitted via Fabuos.eu by 31 October. More information on the request for tenders and the FABULOS project will be provided during two webinars, held on 11 September and 15 October 2018. Registrations via the FABULOS website.
FABULOS (Future Automated Bus Urban Level Operation System) is a research and development project to establish and deliver a systemic proof-of-concept for automated last mile public transport as part of the existing transport system of urban areas, based on the use of self-driving minibuses. The FABULOS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and runs from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2020. The FABULOS project has partners in Estonia, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.
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