Stockholm to Be Home to Scandinavia’s First Driverless Buses

The model that will be used in Stockholm
The model that will be used in Stockholm | © Rama / WikiCommons
Jozef Brodala

Stockholm has always been a centre of technological innovation. In fact, it is the world’s second-largest per capita producer of tech unicorns (companies valued at $1 billion or more). It has been incredibly prolific in producing companies that we all use on a regular basis. Now, Stockholm is set to be the home of the first driverless buses in Scandinavia.

Stockholm’s tech successes

Of course, Stockholm is home to Spotify, the streaming service that has become ubiquitous, as well as Skype, arguably the first app anyone thinks of for making video calls. Beyond these two giant names, the payment solution Klarna, the games maker Mojang (who created Minecraft) and the company behind Candy Crush all come from the largest of the Nordic countries. Swedish tech products have become synonymous with success.

Spotify is one of Stockholm’s great successes

In terms of the Nordic countries, Sweden dominates the tech sector, with over 50% of all the unicorns in the Nordic countries hailing from Sweden. In short, Sweden punches well above its weight both globally and more locally. It is no surprise, then, that one of the biggest and most talked about innovations in technology is coming to Stockholm before either of its Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark and Norway.

Autonomous vehicles aren’t new, with many planes and trains being controlled either solely or mostly by computers. However, road vehicles are only just starting to get the technology that they need in order to be driven without human input. Recently, the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas and the Detroit Motor show were dominated by companies looking to prepare for the future by providing driverless cars, showing that this new technology is here to stay.

Many companies are aiming to produce driverless cars

Bus company Nobina, in collaboration with a number of technology experts at Ericsson, the Swedish transport company SJ, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the city of Stockholm, are set to trial driverless buses in Stockholm. They will only be able to fit 12 people, and a driver will be there to take control in case there is an issue. However, it is a huge step for the city, which will be the first in Scandinavia to have the technology when the buses hit the roads next year.

First Kista, then the world

The buses will run in Kista, Stockholm’s Silicon Valley, which features companies like Ericsson, IBM and Fujitsu. It will take passengers along a 1.5-kilometre (1-mile) path at a set speed of 20 kilometres (12 miles) an hour, with a number of cameras and sensors helping the bus to navigate and avoid any potential issues, as well as GPS to help it map its course.

The same buses have been trialled in Tallin

The bus will go from Kista Mall to the striking Victoria Tower, which houses a hotel. It will not have a conventional steering wheel, but the driver will be able to take control if required. The bus, which is called the EZ10, is fully electric and has already been tested in other countries, including Estonia and Germany.

Stockholm is aiming to be future-proof

For the Swedish Transport Agency, who gave the plans the go-ahead, this is a very important step in their commitment to embracing the future and investing in new solutions to transport problems. Stockholm has always aimed to be a global city, one that looks outwards and aims to embrace change.

The bus will take people to the Victoria Tower

The director of the agency told Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers, that, ‘it is a historic decision which aims to develop and embrace new technology which is important for societal development.’ For Stockholm, then, it is a symbol of the city’s status as one of Europe’s technology capitals and its readiness for the future.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article