Tartu Roosi Street
The street of roses and autonomous shuttles
After the first successful visit to Tartu, we were invited by our long-term partner Modern Mobility to take part in the project to use Iseauto as public transportation. For two months we operated in Roosi Street which connects the Estonian National Museum and Tartu City Museum.
The route was 4.6 km long and included left and right turns. Also, there were 2 traffic lights and 2 give-way signs. The highest allowed speed for the autonomous shuttle was 30 km/h but the traffic was busy so we could not try driving at its maximum speed. The passengers could familiarize themselves with the alternative transportation for 5 days a week starting from Wednesday in accordance with the schedule from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Services were free of charge.
The complexity of the environment
Roosi Street connects 2 museums that are popular destinations among locals and tourists since many events and exhibitions take place in these buildings. The Estonian National Museum bus stop was at the parking of the museum and the second bus stop was not far away from Tartu City Museum at the regular bus stop Linnamuuseum. The street was busy all the time and constant road construction was unpleasant to experience so the operators had to drive the bus manually.
The parking of the Estonian National Museum was busy and filled with cars at all times just like the streets nearby the museum which complicated the teleoperations in that area.
The weather conditions
Driving in autumn might get problematic because strong rains affect the quality of sensing the obstacles on the road which might cause the operations to stop due to harsh weather conditions in order not to put the passengers, operators, and road users in danger. Fortunately, the weather was permissive and we could share our technologies with almost 1000 people without any hardships.
Remote operations were challenging, both operators who operated Iseauto were in Tartu whereas the rest of the team was in Tallinn.
The yield signs are noteworthy because many drivers were not driving in accordance with traffic rules. Also, it was our first time operating on the road with traffic lights and we passed this challenge successfully.
Roosi Street is positioned on a hill and uphill driving consumes more energy so we had to change our regular charger to a fast charger for more efficient operating without any delays.