Turkish Karsan e-ATAK first autonomous midibus on European roads

For a few weeks now, an e-ATAK eight-meter-long midibus of Turkish light commercial vehicle builder and bus manufacturer Karsan has been running autonomously on a daily service from Stavanger’s bus operator Kolumbus in Norway. It’s equipped with autonomous Level 4 driving hardware and software supplied by Californian company Adastec and is claimed to be the first self-driving midibus in Europe.

The Karsan e-ATAK uses BMW’s electric car technology with 220 kWh batteries and a 230 kW motor, offering a range of 300 kilometers. It can accommodate 52 passengers, making it bigger than other autonomous shuttles.

Level 4 autonomous driving means that the midibus can drive independently on a well-defined trajectory through the city of Stavanger, but a ‘driver’ is still aboard to take the wheel in extreme circumstances.

Performing all ‘driver’ tasks

But the midibus can autonomously perform tasks like stopping at stops, managing the boarding and alighting of passengers, and crossing traffic circles and intersections. It’s equipped with five Ouster LiDARs, six RGB Cameras, two FLIR Thermal Cameras, a high-precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Automotive Radar, and all-around Ultrasonic Sensors on the four corners of the body.

“We made our first export to the Northern European market, Norway, with our 8-meter e-Atak autonomous electric bus. We continue to be at the forefront of the future of transportation with our products, with the vision of ‘one step into the future of mobility, ’ says Karsan CEO Okan Baş. “This is another milestone for Karsan Autonomous e-Atak, as it will be the first driverless large bus to carry passengers in real road conditions in Europe.”

89 e-buses for Luxembourg

In Luxembourg, Karsan just sold 89 e-ATAK buses to six companies to operate on the city and intercity public transport lines from mid-July. Still, these are not equipped with the lidars, cameras, and software for autonomous driving. With the e-ATAK fleet that will be put into service in Luxembourg, Karsan claims to have the largest electric midibus fleet in Europe.





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