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KelRideWeather-ProofSmart Shuttle

Travel Autonomously from A to B within Kelheim.

What will mobility look like in the future? It is a difficult thing to predict with any certainty. What is certain, however, is that thanks to innovative research projects, the future has already started in today’s world. One research project based on high-tech forms of transportation is the KelRide project. What lies behind it is described in detail on these pages.

KelRide in a nutshell.

KelRide is a research project...

funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the “Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence in Mobility” action plan. KelRide started in March 2021 and will be fully implemented in the Kelheim district by December 2023.

The aim of the project is...

…to integrate an autonomous on-demand ridepooling service into the public transportation network, which can be operated in all weather conditions. Weather-independent operation in particular still poses major hurdles for autonomous vehicles.

KEXI is the on-demand transportation service that has been in place in the Kelheim district since July 2020. It...

…forms the framework for the practical implementation of the sponsored KelRide project. As a result, a mixed KEXI fleet consisting of autonomous and conventional vehicles will be in operation at the end of the project period. In the first instance, a third conventional vehicle will reinforce operation of KEXI beginning in July 2021. Then, from July 2022, autonomous vehicles will gradually be integrated into on-demand operations.

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All-weather-proof

Improving the weather resistance of autonomous vehicles is an important aspect that the KelRide research project has set as its goal.

Currently, adverse weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall, rain, or fog still severely limit the mobility options of highly automated autonomous vehicles.

First of all, the KelRide project will concern itself with the extent to which existing sensor technologies and software solutions for vehicle control and fleet management can guarantee all-weather capability.

This novel system will initially be used in on-demand transportation in the Kelheim district. The knowledge gained in the KelRide project will form a blueprint for autonomous forms of mobility in Germany and around the world.

On-Demand transportation

The KelRide project is pursuing two research goals. One of them is the efficient integration of autonomous on-demand services into local public transportation. KEXI on-demand transportation is a demand-based form of transportation, which means that the service is not tied to a schedule. Rather, people can order vehicles when they need them.

With this type of transportation, vehicles do not operate according to a fixed route and within a rigid schedule. The operation is flexible according to customer demand. Users can book their rides individually via the KEXI Kelheim app or by phone at +49 (0) 800 999800.

If several trip requests occur at the same time, the system bundles the trips in the background. Thus, effective operation can occur.

The KelRide project represents the first time in Germany that autonomous vehicles can also be booked on a demand-based basis. The aim is to implement extensive operation with dynamically optimized routing.

The KelRide consortium

In the KelRide project, six partners coming from industry, the public sector, and research will for the first time integrate an autonomous and weatherproof ridepooling solution into the existing public transportation system in Germany.

The district of Kelheim provides the environment to carry out operations.

The technology company EasyMile is providing its innovative EZ10 shuttles for the implementation of autonomous on-demand transportation.

The consulting firm P3 Group is responsible for the project management of the consortium and is developing a plan to realize the scaling of KelRide in Germany and around the world.

The Technical University of Berlin is simulating mobility behavior in the Kelheim district using MATSim agent-based traffic simulation.

A technology platform from Via enables highly efficient and flexible on-demand transportation systems that allow seamless and efficient route planning, booking, and fleet management.

TÜV Rheinland is evaluating methods for the system's testability, conducting all tests for planned road approval, and supporting communication with approval authorities.

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