SWISS Federal Railways (SBB) is launching a pilot project to use self-driving car shuttles as part of the existing integrated mobility system already in place in the city of Zug. This is the first such project in Switzerland, and will start this summer with two self-driving vehicles providing a shuttle service between Zug railway station and the Technologiecluster Zug industrial centre.

The project is part of a cooperative scheme created by SBB together with Mobility Carsharing, Zug public transport company ZVB, the City of Zug and the Technologiecluster Zug industrial centre. Also present at the presentation of the prototype yesterday in Zug were representatives from the manufacturers of the shuttle, Local Motors, Germany, and Astra, the Swiss federal roads office.

The self-driving shuttle service, which hold up to 10 passengers, will be extended to cover other parts of Zug in a second phase, which is likely to start next year. The partners are then expected to decide whether these vehicles can be integrated into the public transport system. Self-driving buses are already in service in a pilot phase.

The autonomous shuttles are part of SBB’s vision for the future under its SBB Strategy 2020 project, which is designed to provide an efficient integrated network to meet customers’ needs in the age of digitalisation.

According to SBB CEO Mr Andreas Meyer, who attended the ceremony, Zug is ideal for this project, not only because of its size, strong industrial interests and existing innovative integrated transport system, but also because the name Zug in English means train.