Istanbul Technical University’s (İTÜ) newly launched autonomous electric bus will debut on Oct. 2 with the start of the academic year.
Completing its route in just 15 minutes, the driverless bus yields the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks and adheres to priority rules at intersections.
Five sensors, four at the corners and one on top of the vehicle,are employed to detect, map and identify all moving and stationary objects in the surroundings.
Additionally, cameras positioned throughout the bus anticipate the direction of movement of objects around the bus, facilitating its stops and movements accordingly. When approaching stops outside its designated route, the bus keeps its doors closed, while it tilts to the right at designated stops, allowing elderly or disabled passengers to board and disembark more easily.
With a capacity to carry 52 passengers, 30 of whom can stand, and a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour, the fully electric vehicle can travel up to 300 kilometers on a single charge period.
The project involved the collaboration of numerous engineers, including graduates of the university. Categorized as level four autonomy, the bus can travel along predefined routes without any driver intervention.
Nevertheless, according to regulations, there must be a “safety driver” in the driver’s seat to intervene in case of emergency situations.
“We are considering transforming this vehicle into an educational and R&D platform for our undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. Our students will have the opportunity to conduct various studies on the vehicle, especially in terms of software, to advance its capabilities,” rector İsmail Koyuncu stated.