It’s on the road – the new minibus for HEAT (Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transportation), Germany’s unique research and development project to integrate an autonomous shuttle bus into regular street traffic. The ambitious goal of the HEAT research and development project is to test uncharted territory: Proving that self-driving minibuses can be fully and safely integrated into street traffic and a city’s public transport system.
The HEAT minibus will be tested under real conditions in public streets and should, as planned, be capable of autonomous driving at speeds up to 50 km/h. Five meters long, weighing just under three tons, powered emission-free with electricity: The minibus will provide space for up to 10 passengers traveling through Hamburg’s HafenCity as of mid-2020.
The youngest member of the Hamburg’s HOCHBAHN fleet will drive autonomously. In order to safely find its way along the test route, the minibus will communicate continuously with sensors installed along the route and with the central HOCHBAHN control center. The minibus will begin test operations this August.