German Autonomous Shuttle Fleet Awarded Innovation Prize

May 27 2020, Berlin, Germany
Stadt Monheim am Rhein
Written by EasyMile
A fleet of EZ10s are breathing life into the transport connections of a regional, German town with the project awarded the Reallabore Innovation Prize by the country’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Berlin, Germany, 27 May 2020 – Monheim on the Rhine is the first municipality in Germany to set up a bus line with automated, electrically-powered and therefore emission-free, vehicles on public roads. It is demonstrating how self-driving electric minibuses can be safely deployed to transport passengers on urban roads. 

The city of Monheim has been operating a fleet of five EZ10s on the A01 bus line for months. It covers a distance of nearly 3 kilometers between the city center and old town revitalising the city’s public transport system. 

For the operator Bahnen der Stadt Monheim (BSM), the local public transport company, the autonomous bus fleet also offers a unique opportunity to gain new insights into the acceptance of autonomous vehicles in local public transport, making a forward-looking contribution to the mobility of tomorrow. “With our autonomous bus fleet we are showcasing the opportunity of digitization to everyone. It is the future of mobility in the streets of Monheim today” said Mayor Daniel Zimmermann.  

The project is one of the 9 winners among 125 entries for the award.

Norbert Jakobs via Stadt Monheim am Rhein (left to right Niels Hauke, Mayor Daniel Zimmermann, Michael Hamann, BSM Director Detlef Hövermann)

The Reallabore Award is held by the Ministry of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). New technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain or drone technology are tested in regulatory freedom. These so-called “regulatory sandboxes” offer a special opportunity to learn not just about innovation, but also about the rules and regulations underpinning it. This also intends to lay foundations for the further development of the legal framework, a process that is particularly important for an autonomous future. 

The “regulatory sandboxes” are a source of inspiration for new business models and technologies, and encourage the use of pioneering technologies under real conditions. BMWi is encouraging companies, researchers, policy-makers and administrations to initiate innovation together.  “In view of the high pace of digital change, we need to experiment not only with our technologies, but also with our rules and regulations, so that we can test them and learn. This is what regulatory sandboxes are for,” siad Peter Altmeier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.

EasyMile congratulates the city of Monheim and all the winners of the Reallabore award as drivers of change for the future of autonomous mobility!