Small Autonomous Cars as part of Public Transport in Suburbs

Public transport in suburban areas has always been a challenge due to the lack of demand for large buses and high cost of operations. One of the best practices on the ARRIVAL matchmaking platform’s knowledge hub proposes a potential solution with small autonomous cars.


Goal and Challenges

This solution is presented to increase the usage and public acceptance of autonomous cars in suburban settings, delivering a more efficient and cost-effective public transport system. The specific goals are:

1. Implementation of autonomous cars for on-demand public transport
2. Lowering the cost of public transport operations
3. Setting up services in areas where there is no demand for large buses
4. Increasing public acceptance of this form of transport


The solution involved a four-step process:

1. Conducting workshops and an early dialogue conference to create acceptance for autonomous cars as a useful supplement to public transport
2. Developing a deployment concept for the autonomous vehicles
3. Organizing targeted dialogue conferences
4. Launching a public tender to acquire vehicles, operations, and back-office logistics


Financial details

In the discovery of this solution, the project was entirely funded by non-municipal public funding, covering the stakeholder workshops, conferences, and resources required for vehicle acquisition.

Insights Gained

The project was carried out within the existing legal framework, eliminating the need for extra legal work. It built on an earlier project with autonomous mini-buses and multi-stakeholder dialogue conferences, which further demonstrated the value of such stakeholder-involved events.

Results and Impact

The implementation of small autonomous cars in suburban areas has led to more seamless mobility for residents, making public transport more accessible and efficient.

Next Steps

The success of this project paves the way for replication in other cities, potentially revolutionizing public transport in suburban areas worldwide.


The integration of small autonomous cars as part of public transport systems in suburban areas offers a promising solution to the challenges faced by traditional public transport services. With successful implementation and positive results, this best practice can serve as a model for other cities looking to enhance their public transport offerings and improve the quality of life for suburban residents.

Register for our ARRIVAL matchmaking platform and access more best practices for FREE HERE.