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Switzerland’s first teleoperated vehicle
Prof. FENART Marc-Antoine1, Prof. SCHERWEY Roland1, PYTHON Gabriel1
1HES-SO – HEIA-FR, SwissMoves, Fribourg, Switzerland
So far, in Switzerland, about fifteen pilot projects of autonomous shuttle have been carried out or are underway.
In all cases, the presence of a driver (groom) on board is legally required. While this is economically not viable,
the presence of personnel on board an automated vehicle is explained by the need to intervene when the
autonomous mode of the shuttle encounters difficulties or an unknown situation to which it is unable to react. In
the pilot project operated by Transports Publics Fribourgeois TPF at the Marly Innovation Center MIC, the driving
time in manual mode is about 20%. From a human point of view, the driver's work is not entirely rewarding, as
the skills for which he has been trained are only rarely used.
Although consideration is currently being given to changes in the Swiss legal framework to allow the use of a
driverless vehicle, there will still be situations in which the shuttle requires manual operation. As the presence of
a person in the vehicle is not justified, the solution envisaged for these specific cases consists of a remote control
of the vehicle by an operator, who can thus potentially manage a fleet of several vehicles.
The interdisciplinary SwissMoves working group
(HEIA-FR, HEG-FR, UniFR, together with several
partners) developed a proof of concept  for this type
of remote driving system, known as teleoperation. In
May 2021, the first teleoperated road vehicle in
Switzerland was presented to the authorities, project
partners and the media .
The project, supported by the Development Agency
FDA of the Canton of Fribourg, consisted of six
workpackages and had several parts. The first part,
“Economic and societal aspects”, consisted in
evaluating the economic viability of a vehicle assisted
by teleoperation and defining the criteria influencing
the social acceptability of this transport mode. At the
“Legal” level, several discussions were held with the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) to define a strategy for
authorizing the use of a teleoperated vehicle on a public road.
In the "Technical" aspect, the major part of the project, the system concept was evaluated by two risk analyses
(safety ISO 26262 and cybersecurity ISO 21434). At the mechanical level, the chassis and the body were adjusted
and configured for the study case and the different hardware and functions required to teleoperate the demonstrator
vehicle were developed and integrated. Automation basics have been explored (Localization, Perception, Path
Planning activities). Finally, the teleoperation concept underwent a battery of tests on a predefined site (ODD,
Operational Design Domain) before the final demonstration.
This new concept not only makes it possible to envisage the possibility of deploying a viable last-mile public
transport service using remotely operated automated vehicles, but also opens up numerous prospects, particularly
in the fields of agriculture, logistics and goods transport.
 SwissMoves and partners, “Development and implementation of a centralized teleoperation concept enabling
remote control of automated and connected vehicles based on safety and cybersecurity requirements”, Final
report, FDA Fribourg, May 2021
 SRF, “Die Zukunft des Schweizer ÖVs – Kein Chauffeur an Bord: Freiburg testet ferngesteuerte Busse”,
 RTS, 19h30, “SwissMoves présente le premier véhicule routier piloté à distance”, 18.05.2021
Fig. 1 Teleoperation center, source: SwissMoves