Lessons learned from setting up a demonstration site with autonomous shuttle operation – based on experience from three cities in Europe
Journal article, 2022

The interest in operating autonomous vehicles is growing and several demonstration sites using automated shuttles have been established all over the world. Major work is involved in setting up an automated shuttle operation that involves more than identifying the relevant site, including adhering to current regulations and obtaining approval, as well as a considerable amount of preparation and commissioning required at the site. The shuttle must pass relevant national vehicle regulations, and the operation site has to undergo a site assessment. This paper is based on lessons learned achieved from setting up automated shuttle operations in three different areas in Europe: Brussel (Belgium), Linköping (Sweden) and Turin (Italy). The focus is on the practical aspects of operation. Through the experience we have gained of setting up demonstration sites at three locations in Europe, we have identified the need to summarise the lessons learned from preparing AV shuttle operation sites in order to facilitate the implementation of other operation sites. Hence, this paper aims to consolidate lessons learned during preparation and implementation of automated shuttle operations in near urban environments and to identify the path toward future implementation The three sites operate different brands and number of shuttles, different types of infrastructure and varying local conditions. The focus here was on generic lessons learned and not to understand differences between brands and operators. It is clear that further development of the AV shuttles is vital to ensure that they operate smoothly in complex traffic situations considering lane and road width, shared spaces, snow, dust, rain, leaves, birds, etc. Adapting the road infrastructure to enable the shuttles to run in the autonomous mode should be avoided, instead the shuttle development should prioritise fitting into the existing traffic environment and eco system. Mitigation areas have been identified covering: road infrastructure, weather dependant operation, season dependent operation, improvement of localisation, digital infrastructure, design and working conditions, and citizens’ user experience.


Operational perspective

Av shuttle operation

Lessons learned


Anna Anund

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Linköping University

Stockholm University

Ricker Ludovic


Brunella Caroleo

LINKS Foundation

Hugo Hardestam

Transdev Sverige AB

Anna Sjörs

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Ingrid Skogsmo

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Mathieu Nicaise


Maurizio Arnone

LINKS Foundation

Journal of Urban Mobility

26670917 (eISSN)

Vol. 2 100021

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering



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