The official video of the CityMobil2 demonstration in Lausanne (EPFL campus)
City overview: West-Lausanne region and EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
The Commune of St-Sulpice is one of the nine cities making up the West Lausanne region which is home to 75 000 inhabitants and 50 000 jobs. Situated in the metropolitan area of the Lake of Geneva, Lausanne West region is an important economic centre experiencing a significant demographic growth with considerable consequences on the development of its infrastructure (housing, transport, etc.). Its population is expected to double by 2030.
To face the important growth of the population and the problems generated by this, the nine Municipalities of Lausanne West region have agreed upon a region-wide Master Plan (SDOL – Schéma Directeur de l’Ouest Lausannois). The SDOL has six development sites. The Commune of St-Sulpice borders the key development site of the university campus of EPFL and one of the important objectives in the Master Plan is to improve the connection between the two. The EPFL campus was home to a large-scale demonstration during the first half of 2015.The demonstration of driverless vehicles on the campus of EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lauseanne Switzerland)came to an end in late August with a particularly positive evaluation: no accident to record and a true interest in the initiative with almost 7,000 passengers despitethe summer holiday season on the campus.
West-Lausanne's large-scale demonstration
The demonstration started particularly well with the official inauguration on 17 April by the Swiss Federal President Ms. Simonetta Sommaruga and by the French President, Mr. François Hollande during his official visit to Switzerland. Four shuttles served six stops on a 1.5km itinerary, from 7.45 am to 10.00pm, from Monday to Friday, and linking the ‘traditional’ public transport axis, on the Southern and Northern edges of the campus.
Thanks to the collaboration between the manufacturer Easymile, the operator Bestmile and the ‘grooms’ (students) within the vehicles to welcome the general public, the demonstration provided a quality service to the passengers. The main obstacles were mostly due to external factors such as badly-parked vehicles, delivery and construction activities as well as the meteorological conditions. One of the impacts of the construction activities has been the definitive interruption of a part of the shuttles itinerary, at the end of the demonstration.
The heat wave during summer caused major challenges too as it required permanent air-conditioning within the shuttles.Consequently, this impacted on the autonomy of the electric batteries of the vehicles and ultimately lowered their operational autonomy. Additionally,high temperatures and dry weather made the road dusty which created problems for the perception of obstacles by lasers located on the vehicles’ bumpers.
During the demonstration, great progress in terms of monitoring have been achieved thanks to Bestmile which successfully implemented a remote fleet management system.Through this system, it is now possible to monitor the entire fleet from a central position and to give clear instructions to every shuttle of the fleet, about their speed, their itinerary,etc. This fleet management software made possible the implementation of an ‘on-request’ app in July and August. Passengers were indeed able to call a shuttle with their smartphone and define their own destination. This has been a successful implementation with approximately 1,000 people using the mobile app.
The whole CityMobil2 demonstration process has been accompanied by astrong communication and evaluation effort which will now be used for further CityMobil2 activities.Regarding the next steps, several French-speaking Swiss cities have shown interest in the Lausanne demonstration and the fleet management system. A new demonstration in acity-centre of a Swiss city could start before the end of the year, in parallel to numerous international projects.
The EPFL team also thank all CityMobil2 project partners for their strong support, the companies which took part in the implementation,Easymile and Bestmile, and the generous local sponsors: Swiss Federal Office of Energy and Romande Energie.
Dates: April 2015 – August 2015
Vehicles: EasyMile EZ10
Route length: 1.5 km
Number of trips: 4,647
Distance covered: 6,970 km
Number of passengers: 7,000
The demonstration took place on a University Campus (EPFL). The implementation of an on-demand mobile application has been tested during the demonstration.