With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, Luxembourg, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. Luxembourg, has a population of 585.000, with a high population growth (2,5% per year) over the last decade. Luxembourg is a major European Economic center, being the 2nd richest country in the world (IMF, 2015). Luxembourg has one of the world largest numbers of cars ratio (3rd worldwide with 680 cars per 1000 persons).
Luxembourg has efficient road, rail and air transport facilities and services, with a 147 km of motorways connecting the capital to adjacent countries. The urban transport services are based on urban and regional bus lines and a tramway is under construction. A first part of the line will be operational in late 2017 and the complete service is expected to be operational in 2020/21. Luxembourg is a pioneer in electro-mobility, having introduced hybrid buses since 2009 and with a strategic plan to reach all-electric public transport within the next decade with the installation of solar panels and use of Green electricity. The new tramway aspires to be a multimodal line, acting as backbone for a greener public transportation. The public transportation network is composed of more than 340 lines operated by different transport operators, under the control of the government (RGTR - Réseau Général des Transports Routiers).
Early in September 2017, Luxembourg approved the creation of the creation of a test zone for self-driving cars, in the south and center of Luxembourg, in collaboration with France and Germany.
The pilot site
Since September 2018, Sales-Lentz is running 3 autonomous shuttles on two sites:
- Pfaffenthal, a valley in the city of Luxembourg, where two shuttles run on a short track connecting the train and funicular station of Pfaffenthal with the panoramic lift in Pfaffenthal that goes up to the city of Luxembourg. Services on this line started on 20.09.2018.
- Contern, an industrial area located around 10km east of Luxembourg city, where one shuttle connects the train station of Contern-Sandweiler with “Campus Contern”, a real estate development company. Services on this line started on 19.09.2018.
The pilot sites described in more detail below, are as of november 2018, but can change throughout the project. It is also possible that the services will not be maintained on both sites throughout the whole project duration, and efforts might rather focus on one site.
One NAVYA Autonom Shuttle is running on the site of Contern between two stations: the new train station, and the Campus Contern. First, passengers will have to walk 300m from the train station to the shuttle stop. An extension of the route to the train station is planned for 11/2018. The depot and charging station for the shuttle will be close to the Campus Contern,as shown bellow.
The expected main users are employees working at Campus Contern and the companies nearby commuting by public transport. Consequently, the main expected usage scenarios are commuters arriving to Contern in the morning or leaving the area in the evening via the train station to get to and from work.
Two NAVYA Autonom Shuttles are running on the site of Pfaffenthal between two stations: the train and funicular station of Pfaffenthal, as well as the panoramic lift in Pfaffenthal that leads up to the city of Luxembourg. The track has two stops and three stations and the depot and charging station for the shuttles are close to the station at the Pfaffenthal lift, see map below.
The speed limit on the whole route has been reduced to 30 km/h. In order to avoid massive overtaking by cars, SLA is challenging Navya as shuttle manufacturer to increase the maximum shuttle speed from the current 18 km/h to 25 km/h as soon as possible, with a mid-term objective of 30 km/h and a long-term objective to 45 km/h.
The main problem in Pfaffenthal was to find a mobile depot where we could park the shuttle during the night. The depot is especially important during winter conditions.
Different kind of user groups are expected for this pilot site: Commuters going to and coming from work, tourists, local residents, passers-by, etc. The main usage scenarios envisaged are:
- Commuters arrive at the train station and take then the shuttle to get to the lift to reach the city center, where bus connections are available.
- Commuters take the shuttle to get to the funicular station to get to Kirchberg, where bus and tram connections are available.
Going from the old town to Kirchberg or other way round
Taking the shuttle to get to the lift to reach the city center or reaching the funicular station to get to Kirchberg