The First Commercial Full-Speed, Full-Size Electric Autonomous Bus Deployment In Europe
Autonomy in Shared Transportation
Increased levels of autonomy are being added to passenger vehicles, but even greater levels of autonomy are being added to passenger buses and shuttles. With urbanization on the rise, an increasing number of the population will need to rely on public modes of transportation to get around. Further, in order to reduce carbonization, much of the world’s transportation is expected to shift towards electric vehicles. Thankfully, electric autonomous buses are quickly developing with SAE Level 4 (L4) hands-free, eyes-free deployments already taking place around the world.
Companies like ADASTEC are on a mission to enable a clean, modern, socially inclusive, 24/7 transportation platform to improve safety, reduce congestion, and drive broad economic returns to business and communities. ADASTEC develops L4 automated full-size electric bus solutions in cooperation with the electric bus OEMs for bus fleet operators. They are driving us into a safer, more efficient, and more sustainable future – and they are doing so with Ouster’s digital lidar.
Flowride.ai Powered by Ouster’s Digital Lidar
ADASTEC’s current platform, flowride.ai, is one of the most advanced L4 automation platforms for full-size, full speed commercial vehicles currently available. Their software can be deployed on any electric bus or commercial vehicle to enable L4 automation.
The current platform is powered by 5 Ouster lidar sensors on a full-size bus: one 128-channel sensor scans 360° from the top of the vehicle while four 32-channel sensors with 270° field of view are positioned around the sides of the bus.
Ouster’s high-resolution lidar augments the buses’ camera systems with 3D high-definition mapping of the bus route along with perception and localization across all lighting conditions, providing accurate real-time distance and range information for self-driving. Safety is paramount for any autonomous vehicle, and Ouster lidar’s combination of performance and reliability ensure that the vehicles can operate safely at all hours of the day.
“The future looks brighter with companies like ADASTEC pioneering sustainable, safety-driven autonomous solutions. Ouster’s digital lidar is able to blanket the bus with short and long-range sensors for complete coverage, enabling the vehicle to move off the highway and in different directions in a dynamic municipal road environment,” said Mark Frichtl, Ouster’s Chief Technology Officer.
The First Commercial Full-Speed, Full-Size Electric Autonomous Bus Deployment in Europe
ADASTEC has partnered with Karsan, one of Turkey’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, to integrate the flowride.ai platform in its ATAK Electric Bus. Earlier this year, they launched the first full-size (27 ft / 8.3m), full-speed SAE L4 autonomous electric bus in Europe.
While a number of European cities have run trials involving small driverless electric shuttles, and we’ve seen other more recent deployments of regular-sized buses, this is the first commercial deployment of its kind. With a capacity of up to 52 passengers and maximum speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) in self-driving mode, the autonomous Atak Electric bus is leading the charge in the future of public transportation.
“Enabled by ADASTEC’s autonomous platform, the Atak Electric Bus is our contribution to empowering next-generation public transport systems and green, sustainable smart cities and campuses. Safety is a strategic priority for us, making Ouster’s lidar sensors, which are designed for the highest resolution and reliability, absolutely key,” said Dr. Ali Ufuk Peker, Chief Executive Officer at ADASTEC.
To date, the autonomous Atak Electric bus has been deployed at the Presidential Palace in Turkey and at the BCSI Technopark in Romania. ADASTEC is planning to scale their solutions to developed markets, green cities, and smart cities first. They also have plans to deploy the flowride.ai system on an autonomous electric bus in the U.S. later this year.