For the first time in Europe a bus with level 4 autonomous features will be integrated into the public transportation system and used in city traffic. The test of the 8-meter-long vehicle, produced by the Turkish company Karsan, has started at Forus Business Park in Stavanger, Norway.
Karsan Autonomous e-ATAK is automated by ADASTEC's flowride.ai Level-4 Automated Driving Software Platform and will be used for the first time in Europe on a city bus line. The autonomous bus is capable of reaching speed of up to 50 kilometres per hour in all weather conditions. Also tasks as pulling into bus stops, managing the passengers getting on/off, navigating through roundabouts, thoroughfares or traffic lights should be no problem according to the engineers. The Level-4 autonomous software has been integrated into Autonomous e-ATAK’s electrical-electronic architecture and electric vehicle software.
The Autonomous e-ATAK has advanced LiDAR sensors on board with which it can 'look ahead' up to 120 metres enabling three-dimensional detection of surrounding objects. The front radar identifies moving objects up to 160 meters in all weather conditions. The self-driving technology can easily navigate through roads and analyses traffic.
Karsan had delivered the first batch of Level-4 autonomous buses ready for real road conditions in USA and Europe, to Romania. Karsan's CEO Okan Baş said: “We made our first export in the Northern European market, to Norway, with our 8-meter electric Autonomous bus e-ATAK and it is a milestone as it will be the first driverless big bus to carry passengers in real road conditions in Europe”.
In Stavanger the Autonomous e-ATAK is purchased by private public transport operator Vy Buss and will be taken into service by Kolumbus, a regional PTA. Autonomous e-ATAK is powered by 220 kWh batteries developed by BMW reaching 230 kW of power. Charging can be done in 5 hours with AC charging units and in 3 hours with DC units. Boasting a 300 km range, the 8.3-meter-long Autonomous e-ATAK can carry 52 passengers. In Europe Karsan has now delivered a fleet of more than 250 electric vehicles.
As a safety feature the Karsan’s Autonomous e-ATAK, measures the distance of objects and identifies them by processing high-resolution images with six RGB cameras fitted on different parts of the vehicle. It recognises vehicles, pedestrians and other objects. Through thermal imaging cameras temperature changes can be measured to detect living beings around the vehicle, thus providing additional safety for pedestrians. The navigation is done with high-resolution maps.