Together with the German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt, CEO of Deutsche Bahn Rüdiger Grube has unveiled the Olli minibus, a self-driving minibus for up to twelve passengers. The vehicle is to be piloted as of next year, either in Berlin – where the relevant approval is, however, still pending – or in Bad Birnbach in Bavaria, on a stretch of line between the train station and spa hotel.
The buses are manufactured by US start-up company Local Motors , reach a maximum speed of 40 km/hour, and are connected with the AI software IBM Watson via wireless technology, so that they can make necessary road traffic-related decisions throughout the journey. With its Olli buses, Deutsche Bahn plans to extend its existing mobility offer, which includes Flinkster and Call a Bike . In addition to Deutsche Bahn, municipal transport services are also increasingly expressing an interest in self-driving vehicles. Mass transportation system operator Hamburger Hochbahn , for instance, intends to test driverless buses on individual pilot routes by 2021.