Innovation and autonomous driving are top priorities in CFL’s strategy. “Our autonomous shuttle project broadens the range of our multimodal services focusing on the passenger’s first and last mile connection, and the local development of associated mobility technologies, says Carlo Hansen, Business Unit Head at the national railway company. “It was also an excellent opportunity for CFL to gain some autonomous driving experience and develop mobility on demand and virtual stops.”

Besides providing an additional service to its customers, CFL wanted to be one of the first in Luxembourg to present autonomous shuttles in public. In order to receive support for this strategic innovative project, CFL contacted Luxinnovation to benefit from the agency’s in-depth knowledge of the ecosystem and global contact-base.

International business contacts

Although in its early stages, the development of self-driving vehicles holds enormous market potential. To implement this ambitious project, CFL was looking for the most suitable provider of autonomous shuttles.

“Luxinnovation has a very good knowledge of the technology and an impressive range of business contacts around the world. They helped us to get in touch with several international shuttle manufacturers, contacts that would have been impossible to find just by searching on Google,” states Mr Hansen.

In the end, the contract was awarded to Ohmio, a New Zealand based shuttle and connected vehicles manufacturer that was first attracted to Luxembourg with the support of Luxinnovation. Ohmio is now providing CFL’s first two autonomous shuttles that will become operational in 2023.

Fostering public-private partnerships

CFL also benefitted from Luxinnovation’s national network to set up auxiliary projects that will contribute to making the autonomous driving project a success. The railway company is now working with tyre manufacturer Goodyear, which will supply airless tires for the shuttles. The innovation agency also helped CFL initiate a project with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) aimed at creating a digital twin of the shuttle. This project is co-funded by the National Research Fund (FNR).

“I’m permanently in contact with Luxinnovation. Working with the team on this project has been a great experience and I hope that we will continue like that in the next years,” says Mr Hansen.

Photo credit: Sophie Margue/ Luxinnovation

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