Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has awarded €10.9 million to the KelRide project in Southern Bavaria which addresses two of the biggest hurdles in autonomous driving.

Its first aim explores the efficient and seamless integration of automated mobility into the public transport network.

The second assesses the extent to which adverse weather conditions such as heavy snowfall, rain and fog limit autonomous mobility. In this context the project will determine the effectiveness of existing sensor technologies and software solutions for vehicle control and intelligent fleet management in typical central European weather conditions.

The project in the Kelheim district north of Munich brings together consortium partners specialised in autonomous vehicles, fleet management, on-demand mobility and certification.

Project partners are EasyMile, Kehlheim district, TÜV Rheinland Intertraffic, Technical University of Berlin, ViaVan, and P3 Automotive.

The project could serve as a scalable blueprint for a large number of cities and regions across Germany. Kelheim’s district administrator Martin Neumeyer says, “The knowledge we gain from KelRide serves as a possible solution for comparable mobility systems in other areas in order to ensure the regional accessibility of the population in the long term.”

Via’s involvement covers optimising booking, routing, assignment of passengers and vehicles, customer experience, and fleet management. Valerie von der Tann, Via general manager Germany, says: “On-demand, autonomous solutions within the framework of public transport will represent a great opportunity to radically improve access to mobility and to ensure the connection.”

Certification body TÜV Rheinland will carry out all tests required for the planned road approval and support communication with the approval authorities. The project will run until the end of 2023.