Irizar unveils its first driverless electric bus
The Spanish bus manufacturer Irizar has presented an autonomous version of its electric model Irizar ie. The bus is to be used as part of a mobility project in the city of Málaga set to start in a few months.
The driverless e-bus bases on Irizar’s proven e-bus model ie. Here in the 12-metre version, the company states that once launched, the pilot project in Malaga will be one of the few trials, where an autonomous vehicle runs in a real-life traffic situation. In the words of Hector Olabegogeaskoetxea, Irizar’s General Manager e-mobility, “this bus is ready to start the pilot test in real operating conditions on a public road, in real traffic situation in the city of Malaga. This is the first test of this kind with a bus of this size in Spain. Without a doubt, these tests will provide data and experiences in the daily practical operation, which will contribute to advancing this great challenge for the future of the Irizar Group.”
Naturally, the driverless ie comes with auto-pilot functionality, automatic mode, but still has a manual mode. For navigating by itself, the EV uses a high-precision positioning and guidance system and will be connected to a control centre for more specific instructions.
The pilot project runs under the name AutoMost and unites several actors. Avanza is on board as an operator along with 11 partners, including the Irizar Group and Datik. The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Insia, CEIT-IK4 and the Universidad de Vigo also participate.
The driverless electric bus will operate on a route from Malaga’s port to the city centre and will primarily transfer cruise passengers arriving in the Spanish city.
The Irizar ie is 12 metres long and has capacity for 60 passengers. The company has not made any comment whether it will widen trials with autonomous versions of the e-bus further just yet.