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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 27.09.2020, 01:58

Autonomus passenger bus to run in Jelgava and Aizkraukle for two weeks

BC, Riga, 06.08.2020.Print version
For the first time in Latvia, an autonomous bus will be running in Jelgava and Aizkraukle for two weeks in August, brought to Latvia by Zemgale Planning Region (ZPR) as part of the Sohjoa Baltic project that aims to facilitate the transition to autonomous and eco-friendly public transport in the cities around the Baltic Sea, as ZPR representative Ilze Lujane told LETA.

The Sohjoa Baltic project's activities in Latvia mark a big step toward transition to autonomous transport, stressed Lujane.

In Jelgava, the autonomous bus will be running from August 14, connecting the entrance to Pasta Island and the reconstructed outdoor recreation area of the island. In Aizkraukle, the bus will be running from September 9, connecting Aizkraukle History and Art Museum and Lacplesa Street. In both Jelgava and Aizkraukle, the bus will operate for two weeks.

At the moment, the bus routes are being programmed in Jelgava, where the bus will use different sensors to comprehend and navigate the environment to know when to brake or stop completely. In the meantime, residents are advised to exercise caution and not try to create artificial obstacles for the bus, walk in front of the bus and suchlike. An assistant will be on the bus at all times who will take over driving the bus if necessary.

Lujane said that ZRP would continue implementation of similar projects in other Zemgale cities and towns in the future in cooperation with the Transport Ministry, Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry, and Road Traffic Safety Directorate.

Sohjoa Baltic researches, promotes and pilots automated driverless electric minibuses as part of the public transport chain, especially for the first/last mile connectivity. The project's total budget is EUR 3.8 mln, including Baltic Sea Region Interreg co-financing of EUR 2.8 mln. The project brings together partners from Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Norway and Denmark.

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