Sensible 4 from Finland and Shotl from Spain combined forces to have their fleet of self-driving shuttles to be tested in the FABULOS project. As a result of this cooperation, the polished GACHA minibus service brings buses and customer needs together. Due to the advanced robot bus technology Sensible 4 won the first prize in the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport in the startup category in October.
The FABULOS project has reached the second phase of the pre-commercial procurement. The aim of this phase is to ensure that the prototypes of the four awarded consortia match the functional requirements of the FABULOS project. Consortia have developed their solutions during the first phase of the pre-commercial procurement and now it is time to bring these solutions alive. In the second phase, the prototypes have been tested in closed environments during the autumn of 2019.
Tapio Taipalus and Tommi Berg from Sensible 4 talk about their experiences in the FABULOS project.
Tell us more about your cooperation in the consortium?
“Sensible 4’s strengths lie in autonomous driving, and we are proposing a related solution. Shotl, on the other hand, is focused on an on-demand shuttle service that brings shared vehicles and passenger needs together. We got to know Shotl’s service at a trade fair and started our cooperation from there.”
What is your vision for the FABULOS solution?
“We feel that a pleasant user experience is crucial to end-customers when it comes to self-driving shuttles. This can be created through design and technical functionalities, for example. In our shared vision with Shotl, we are proposing an autonomous bus as a solution to the last mile challenge. The bus could also operate on demand in sparsely populated areas and help maintain a good level of service.”
What do you think the future of autonomous traffic will look like?
“Our slogan GACHA – Self-driving everywhere summarises our view that autonomous traffic must be able to operate in all weather conditions. The future prevalence of autonomous traffic will undoubtedly have significant effects on cities and their infrastructure, which has focused on private cars since the 1960s. With fewer cars, there will be more room for other functions.”
How do you feel about pre-commercial procurement as an innovation tool?
“The pre-commercial procurement for FABULOS has been an excellent EU-funded opportunity for our company, because the project is fuelled by an actual need that we are trying to meet by developing the best service and technology solutions. Thanks to pre-commercial procurement, the FABULOS project has the chance to promote expertise in autonomous traffic within the EU, which is an asset, because current global competition in the field is fierce.”
What is your goal in terms of the FABULOS project?
“The FABULOS goal is a good fit for our GACHA vehicle. The project lends us exposure and an opportunity to showcase our solution and expertise comprehensively.”
In this series of articles, FABULOS presents the four consortia participating in the second phase of the FABULOS pre-commercial procurement.
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