Two autonomous minibuses have been navigating roads in Valais since 2016. The Swiss Post’s smart shuttles are coming to CeBIT in 2017 and are expected to find their own way around the exhibition grounds.
The Swiss PostAuto AG's two self-navigating post buses can be experienced at CeBIT 2017 for the first time outside their hometown of Sion. These minibuses have been up and running in the 33,000-inhabitant town in the canton of Valais since June 2016. They have already transported more than 12,000 passengers and covered more than 2,000 km since then. This March, they will transport visitors to the exhibition grounds in Hanover from the West 1 entrance across Hall 13 to Hall 12.
The buses, which are named "Arma", were built by the French company Nayva . They are fitted with three LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors at both the front and rear, using them to register their environment in three dimensions, map the respective location, and determine their position. A GPS sensor helps them do so. The buses detect obstacles thanks to a stereo vision camera that also allows them to read road signs.
Nayva developed the software for the vehicles in a collaboration with the start-up BestMile , a spin-off from the Polytechnic School of Lausanne.
The post buses currently drive through the Old Town of Sion at a speed of 20 km/h and have a maximum speed of 45 km/h. The two built-in batteries allow an operating time of about ten hours.