On January 24, the first Irizar Group autonomous bus was presented to Malaga City Council. A pioneering project in mobility that in a few months will begin to move, under Avanza, around the city of Malaga.
The bus developed for this test is the Irizar ie bus model, a 100% zero-emissions electric vehicle with dual driving mode, manual mode and automatic mode (autopilot). It is 12 meters long and has capacity for 60 passengers.
This first autonomous bus is the fruit of the AutoMost Project funded by the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) of the Ministry of Economy of Spain which aims to develop technologies for the automation of vehicles in urban and industrial transport applications, in order to make significant increases in efficiency, safety and sustainability. Avanza participates as an operator with 11 partners, including the Irizar Group through Irizar e-mobility and Datik. The project also has the participation of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Insia, CEIT-IK4 and the University of Vigo.
Malaga will therefore become the first city in Europe to have an autonomous bus moving through its streets. It will do so from the port to the city centre and, in principle, will transfer cruise passengers arriving in the capital of Malaga.
The bus will use a high-precision positioning and guidance system and will be connected to a control centre from which specific instructions can be sent to each unit and the buses can be monitored and their itineraries accessed in real time.
“We believe that this bus is ready to begin the pilot test in real operating conditions on a public highway, in a real traffic situation in the city of Malaga,” Hector Olabegogeaskoetxea, managing director of Irizar e-mobility, said. “This is the first test of this type with a bus of this size in Spain. These tests will undoubtedly provide data and experience in daily practical operation, which will contribute to progress in this great challenge for the future of the Irizar Group.”
After three years of work, the pilot test is being launched in Malaga. As commented, the major innovation of AutoMost is that it puts a standard size vehicle into circulation in a real traffic situation in a city and not in a reserved space or in a restricted area.
The main challenges for the future of the Irizar Group
Creatio, the Group’s Research and Development Centre, is the hub of the Group’s enormous technological capability, which brings together the synergies of the companies of the Group and addresses all the aspects involved in the design and implementation of products and systems, facing the most unique challenges, increasingly complex customer demands, and sustainability.
The Group is currently engaged in different projects that serve to define the lines of the future of mobility and other business areas:
- Development of technologies and strategies to create modular, flexible and scalable eMobility solutions to make viable the mass deployment of medium / large electric bus fleets, minimizing impact on the electricity grid, reducing initial and operational costs. Strategic challenges that seek to unlock the limitations of a booming market in which the IRIZAR Group is positioning itself.
- Development of alternative energies that allow reductions in consumption and CO2 emissions.
- Development of smart connectivity, autonomous transport and new mobility concepts. Smart driver assistance systems with a range of optional equipment to offer the driver and passengers an optimal form of mobility.
- Fleet management systems, preventive and predictive maintenance based on major experience in artificial vision and deep learning.
- Other projects linked to energy storage, energy efficiency, standardization of charging systems, connectivity or Big Data (artificial intelligence).