Self-driving minibuses can contribute to public transport in smart cities, but have to be developed first. FABULOS (Future Automated Bus Urban Level Operation System) is a research and development project to establish and deliver a proof-of-concept for self-driving minibuses as part of the existing transport system of urban areas.
Self-driving minibuses have already been tested in various countries, but a proof-of-concept for the management of autonomous fleets as part of the regular public transportation provision is not yet available. Therefore, evidence of the economic, technical, societal and legal maturity of the solution is required.
Request for tenders
On 1 September an international request for tenders was launched to acquire systems capable of operating fleets of automated minibuses within urban areas. All companies or consortia can apply, with the provision that at least 50% of the R&D needs to take place in the EU or Associated Countries. Nearly 5.5 million euros is available to companies to support their R&D work in developing systems capable of operating fleets of automated minibuses. The request for tenders is open until 31 October 2018. The maximum budget for individual suppliers involved in all three phases is over 1,000,000 euros (including VAT).
The FABULOS project [fabulos.eu] has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and runs from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2020. The FABULOS project has partners in Estonia, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.
The six partner cities of the FABULOS project are:
- Forum Virium Helsinki, Finland (Coordinator and Lead procurer)
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia
- Municipality of Gjesdal, Norway
- Municipality of Helmond, Netherlands
- Municipality of Lamia, Greece
- Sociedade Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP),
These partners embrace this challenge by collectively procuring R&D for the prototyping and testing of smart systems that are capable of operating fleets of self-driving minibuses in all urban environments. These solutions are expected to be all-inclusive, encompassing software, hardware, fleet and services.
After the request for tenders is closed, the three phases of the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process will be executed, ending in September 2020. The PCP challenges the industry to develop innovative solutions for public sector needs and it provides a first customer reference to enable companies to create competitive advantage on the market.
The tenders must be submitted via Fabuos.eu by 31 October. More information on the request for tenders and the FABULOS project will be provided during two webinars, held on 11 September and 15 October 2018. Registrations via the FABULOS website.
*) This article is brought to you by Anna Verkruisen, editor at Smart City Hub.