Hamburg’s public transport operator, the Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HHA) presented a new autonomous shuttle called HEAT on 31 July 2019. The abbreviation stands for Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transportation and is a new autonomous shuttle for passenger transport.
HEAT is a unique research and development project in Germany for integrating an autonomous shuttle bus into regular traffic. The vehicle is 5 meters long, weighs 3 tons and is electrically powered. It offers space for up to 10 passengers and will be operated starting in mid-2020 in Hamburg’s HafenCity (harbour city). The shuttle will drive autonomously but will accompanied by a conductor on board in the beginning. For safe street operation, the vehicle will constantly communicate to the way-side sensors and the central HHA control center. First trial runs are scheduled to start in August 2019 already.
Hamburger Hochbahn AG is leading the HEAT research and development project together with the Hamburg’s Federal Office of Economics, Transport and Innovation (BWVI), IAV (an automotive and engineering service provider), Intelligent Traffic Systems of Siemens Mobility GmbH, the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
HEAT is partly financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment with 3.7 million EUR. A substantial part of the overall project is supported by own resources of the private partners.