Last summer, the Kelheim district north of Munich saw the launch of the Kelheim Express Individuell (KEXI) public on-demand service, which uses conventional vehicles. Now the second phase has begun, offering customers the ability to book a ride in one of the two EZ10 autonomous electric vehicles in the fleet. KEXI has the goals of enabling autonomous vehicles to operate in all weather conditions, and to increase their use in public transport systems.
The service connects the center of Kelheim with a commercial area and serves a road network of about 14 km in length. The vehicles will travel at a maximum speed of 20 km/h, and rides in the autonomous vehicles are free.
Previous autonomous services in Germany have operated on a fixed route, whereas KEXI’s technology makes it possible to route autonomous vehicles dynamically in real time. KelRide is addressing the challenges presented by adverse weather conditions for autonomous driving by using existing sensor technology and vehicle control software, as well as intelligent fleet management.
The KelRide project is funded with 10.5 million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV). The project is made up of a number of partners including: autonomous vehicle technology company EasyMile; the district of Kelheim; TransitTech software provider Via; consultancy P3 Group; TÜV Rheinland; and the Technical University of Berlin.
Jan Luedtke, Via’s Managing Director Germany, said, “We are pleased to work with our partners to implement this unique and innovative project in Germany on Via’s technology platform. It is a beacon for other municipalities and introduces flexible and efficient autonomous solutions as the new generation of public transport services.”