VDL Groep and Schaeffler team up on self-driving shuttles

Schaeffler and VDL Groep are jointly exploring the development and production of a new generation of self-driving electric shuttles for public transport. The two family-owned companies will be showing a first demonstrator of the vehicle at IAA Mobility in Munich.

The initiators intend to bring together their technological competencies and expertise in systems engineering, development, production and public transport. For this progressive and innovative mobility concept, the two partners will cooperate with Mobileye who will provide the shuttle vehicles with autonomous driving systems. VDL and Schaeffler are currently in advanced negotiations with public transport authorities and operators about pilot projects. According to the roadmap, testing for the vehicles on the streets will be possible most likely starting in 2025.

Germany is planned to be the first country where the newly developed and manufactured shuttles will operate, benefiting from the fact of being the first country in Europe which approved SAE level 4 for use on public roads.

Schaeffler & VDL autonomous shuttle specifications:

  • 9 seats: 6 fixed and 3 flexible.
  • Payload will be around 1,000 kg.
  • Dimensions: 5 metres long, 2.2 metres wide, 2.8 metres high, weight of max. 5,000 kg.
  • Indoor monitoring system in direct contact with the control room.
  • Two deeply integrated independent sensing systems: one camera-based and one radar- or lidar-based.
  • Large doors and low entry step.
  • Wheelchair accessible.
  • Maximum speed: 70 km/hour.
  • Range: over 350 km per day, and over 100 km on 1 battery charge.