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BTC shopping center: a testing ground for new technologies

The BTC commercial area positions itself as a testing ground for new technologies. After testing a self-driving shuttle, BTC adopts autonomous vehicles in its warehouse.

BTC, a large commercial area on the outskirts of Ljubljana, is truly a city within a city. Its 400 shops, 70 bars and restaurants, Radisson Blu Plaza hotel, aquapark, gyms, cinema multiplex, congress center, and business park attract over 21 million visits every year.

 

At the same time BTC is a testing ground for new technologies and services. In its operations BTC is increasingly adopting elements of the smart city concept. It also hosts an award-winning start-up accelerator (ABC): many of its members develop blockchain technologies or services connected with so called cryptocurrencies.

 

With its 11 kilometers of roads and over 34,000 vehicles coming to the area every day, BTC’s management has begun to develop “the world’s biggest city lab for creating human-centric mobility solutions”. In 2019 Toyota used BTC to test its Drive-Me co-sharing concept. A year before that French Navya piloted its self-driving electric shuttle within BTC City – the experiment did not go unnoticed and was featured in global media outlets such as Fortune. Last November BTC made an important step-ahead and started to extensively use automated guided vehicles (AGV) in its warehouse. In the coming years, the company plans to increase the number of AGVs and to further automatize their warehouses with a voice guided system.

 

BTC has created a spin-off AV Living Lab, a start-up focusing on development and testing of AV or VR based solutions. A joint project with tech start-up Nervtech, specializing in vehicle simulator technologies, AV Living Lab is testing urban air mobility flight simulation hubs. Partners of the project include major companies like Airbus, Daimler, or Italdesign.

 

BTC testing ground - Navya self-driving bus
Navya self-driving bus cruising through BTC commercial area.
Photo: BTC