Norway has reached a new milestone in autonomous mobility with it’s first driving operation completely removing any human supervisor from the vehicle. EasyMile‘s technology, with clients Applied Autonomy, Vy, Yara, City & Lab and Herøya Industripark AS , is behind the inaugural Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) level 4 mobility operation.
Launched at industrial premise Herøya the deployment is an important step toward better mobility, zero-emission and increased safety on private sites.
An EZ10 shuttle is carrying employees to and from the canteen area and main gate. Beside it are lanes with cars, lorries, buses, pedestrians and cyclists. It will cross two intersections. The pilot project will initially run for five days before an evaluation is carried out.
“This project gives us valuable experience in the work of making Herøya an autonomous industrial park,” says Sverre Gotaas, CEO of Herøya Industripark AS.
With the added possibility of making the service on-demand it paves the way for a clear roadmap in Norway to cost-efficient and fully flexible mobility services.
“This is a large and important step on the road to self-driving public transport. Within a few years, we envision that small, self-driving buses will be able to transport people to or from public transport hubs for trains and buses, ”says Synne Homble, Director of Mobility and Tourism at Vy.
Unlocking cost-efficient and fully flexible mobility
Physically removing any operator from inside an autonomous passenger vehicle while maintaining the same levels of safety for other vehicles and road users unlocks benefits like:
A single operator can supervise multiple vehicles from anywhere meaning scaling to autonomous vehicle fleets without additional manpower is possible.
The service becomes fully flexible as vehicles can be deployed immediately as demand arises, without having to wait for additional operators to be available / on site.
Growing real-world fully autonomous commercial portfolio
For technology provider EasyMile, it is a further step in its vision to completely autonomize shared transport. With its level 4 service ready now, the deployment adds another fully autonomous driving operation to its growing commercial portfolio (the first was in France, with services in the US and Germany following).
EasyMile’s early success in level 4 deployments is largely thanks to its safety architecture. At the core of its evolving, cutting-edge software is a safety by design approach proven by external audits and certifications.
EasyMile’s driverless technology uses robotics, computer vision and vehicle dynamics to teach vehicles how to behave without a human attendant on board. This means behaviors like recognizing a stop sign, or knowing the difference between a pedestrian or a lamppost. Vehicles running the technology at level 4 of autonomous driving, like the one in Herøya, can handle the majority of driving situations independently.
The company is the first autonomous vehicle solutions provider to be ISO 9001: 2015 certified.
With several mass operations around the world EasyMile was also the first autonomous vehicle shuttle provider to deploy fully driverless at level 4 of autonomous driving.