On 1 September FABULOS Consortium launched an international Request for Tenders to acquire systems capable of operating fleets of automated minibuses within urban areas. All companies or consortia could apply, with the provision that at least 50% of the R&D needs to take place in the EU or Associated Countries.

Self-driving minibuses have already been tested in various countries, but a proof-of-concept for the management of autonomous fleets as part of the regular public transportation provision is not yet available. Therefore, evidence of the economic, technical, societal and legal maturity of the solution is required.

The six partner cities of the FABULOS project are embracing this challenge by collectively procuring R&D for the prototyping and testing of smart systems that are capable of operating fleets of self-driving minibuses in all urban environments. These solutions are expected to be all-inclusive, encompassing software, hardware, fleet and services.

Pre-commercial procurement as a method

When the request for tenders was closed on 31 October 2018, the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process will be executed in three phases, ending in September 2020. Pre-commercial procurement challenges industry to develop innovative solutions for public sector needs and it provides a first customer reference that enables companies to create competitive advantage on the market.

The first phase of pre-commercial procurement process is a feasibility study of the selected technologies and proposals. Then, a selection of the most promising concepts will be developed into well-defined prototypes and lab-tested in phase two. The third phase aims to verify and compare the first end-products in real-life situations. In this third phase it is expected that three selected prototypes will be tested as small fleets of automated buses in Estonia, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.

R&D does not include quantity production or supply to establish the commercial viability or to recover R&D costs. It also excludes commercial development activities such as incremental adaptations, routine or periodic changes to existing products, services, production lines, processes or other operations in progress, even if such changes may constitute improvements.

5,5 Million procurement budget

In total, FABULOS procurement budget reaches around 5,500,000 Euros (including VAT). The maximum budget for individual suppliers involved in all three phases is over 1,000,000 million Euros (including VAT). The total budgets per phase are:

  • Phase 1: Total maximum budget per supplier 34,656 €
  • Phase 2: Total maximum budget per supplier 251,623 €
  • Phase 3: Total budget budget per supplier 760,000 €

Tender documents and forms

In order to submit an eligible offer, the Tenderer had to download all the Tender Documents (TD). There were four tender documents, with appendices and annexes:

  • TD1: Request for tenders
  • TD2: Functional specifications
  • TD3: Framework agreement
  • TD4: Specific contract for Phase 1
  • Appendix 1: PCP principles Horizon 2020
  • Appendix 2: Procuring Partners and Preferred Partners
  • Appendix 3: Electronic submission of the FABULOS Tender
  • Appendix 4: Scoring model for the award criteria
  • Appendix 5: Scoring criteria for the price
  • Appendix 6: Scoring model for the outcome of the Phases
  • Appendix 7: Table of page limits
  • Appendix 8: End of Phase reporting (sample)
  • Appendix 9: Project abstract for Phase 1 (sample)

There were seven Forms that needed to be filled in and signed. The Forms were submitted by uploading them to the FABULOS website by 31 October 2018 17:00 CET at the latest. The use of the following Forms was mandatory:

  • Form A: General tender submission form
  • Form B: Exclusion criteria
  • Form C: Selection criteria
  • Form D: Compliance criteria
  • Form E: Technical offer
  • Form F: Financial offer and cost
  • Form G: Financial offer Phase 1