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Insights Helping make Denmark’s autonomous buses a reality

Denmark’s first driverless bus service

In May 2018 Zealand University Hospital launched Denmark’s first driverless bus inside the hospital. Following its success, the plan is for more driverless buses to transport passengers between the hospital and the nearby Ølby Station.

Our clients, Metroselskabet I/S, Movia, Region Zealand and the Capital Region of Denmark, have joined forces to make driverless vehicle technology possible for public transport in Denmark. The plan is to create as many as seven driverless bus routes in the next few years. Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, has been assessing our client’s driverless bus projects, including this first ground-breaking initiative for the hospital.

A competent, effective road safety assessment

Our client wanted to ensure that prior to launch, the service would be safe, meeting all existing safety legislation. Atkins is a well-respected independent safety assessor on railway projects. So, we assembled an experienced team, with capabilities in risk analysis, infrastructure, traffic and mobility, IT & data, safety culture and safety organizations.

Career changing opportunities

Working in an emerging field has provided the team with exciting, new challenges. The approval process required an independent traffic safety assessment for all autonomous vehicles operating where Denmark’s Road Traffic act applies. The initial project phase at the University Hospital of Zealand was delivered indoors, so the legislation didn’t apply. However, the team still ensured all the preparatory safety work was delivered to the same levels of safety prescribed by existing legislation.

Pooling skills for better solutions

Our project team has thoroughly enjoyed pulling together to deliver an efficient assessment modelling tool, keeping costs and resource time as low as possible. Our innovative solution was not only approved by the Danish Road Safety Agency for meeting all current Danish legislative requirements, it has also set a new standard for traffic safety assessments.

What our teams are delivering

Stakeholder engagement and consultation:

To develop a deep, cross-project understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the field of driverless vehicles, our experts have worked with many stakeholders, from authorities to traffic companies, advisors, operators and vehicle manufacturers. At every stage we used this knowledge to support our clients to successfully develop a safe solution.

Project management and controls:

Apart from delivering an efficient, cost-effective assessment process to our client, we also needed to develop a new set of principles that would be supported by the Danish authorities. By applying best practice in project management and risk management, as well as a structured process in collaboration with key stakeholders, our teams achieved all aims.

Operational safety assessments:

The bottom line was that this ground-breaking project had to result in the safe operation of driverless buses on Danish roads. We brought together our specialists in Cyber and IT Security, risk analysis and local transport to reassure our clients that the operational safety of driverless buses had been assessed to the highest standards. 

Proud of our team’s achievements

Thanks to the valuable skills, expertise and knowledge of our people, we’re now the leading provider of assessment services in Denmark for driverless vehicles and one of two companies approved as an assessor for driverless bus projects by the Road Safety Agency. Well done team!

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