Ouster LiDAR: powering autonomy in public transport

Jon Hall

29th July 2021

Ouster LiDAR powering autonomous public transport

Increased levels of autonomy are being added to passenger vehicles, but even greater levels of autonomy are being added to passenger buses and shuttles. With urbanisation on the rise, increasing numbers of people are relying on public modes of transportation to get around. Also, to reduce carbonisation, much of the world’s transportation is shifting towards electric vehicles. Thankfully, electric autonomous buses are quickly developing, with SAE Level 4 (L4) hands-free, eyes-free deployments already taking place around the world.

Companies such as ADASTEC are on a mission to enable clean, modern, socially inclusive, 24/7 transportation platforms to improve safety, reduce congestion, and drive broad economic returns to businesses and communities. ADASTEC develops L4 automated full-size electric bus solutions, in cooperation with the electric bus OEMs, for bus fleet operators. They are driving us into a safer, more efficient, and more sustainable future – and they are doing so with Ouster digital LiDAR

Powered by Ouster

Ouster Powers ADASTEC’s L4 Autonomous Platform for Electric Buses
Ouster’s high-resolution LiDAR augments the camera systems with 3D high-definition mapping of the bus route

ADASTEC’s current platform, flowride.ai, is one of the most advanced L4 automation platforms for full-size, full-speed commercial vehicles available. The software can be deployed on any electric bus or commercial vehicle to enable L4 automation.

The current platform is powered by five Ouster LiDAR sensors on a full-size bus: one 128-channel sensor scans 360° from the top of the vehicle while four 32-channel sensors with 270° field of view are positioned around the sides. 

Ouster suite of of short, mid and long range LiDAR
The Ouster suite of high-resolution digital LiDAR sensors

Ouster’s high-resolution LiDAR augments the camera systems with 3D high-definition mapping of the bus route, along with perception and localisation across all lighting conditions, providing accurate real-time distance and range information for self-driving. Safety is paramount for any autonomous vehicle, and the Ouster combination of performance and reliability ensure that the vehicles can operate safely at all hours of the day. 

“The future looks brighter with companies like ADASTEC pioneering sustainable, safety-driven autonomous solutions. Ouster’s digital LiDAR can blanket the bus with short and long-range sensors for complete coverage, enabling the vehicle to move off the highway and in different directions in a dynamic municipal road environment,” said Mark Frichtl, Ouster’s Chief Technology Officer. 

Full-speed, full-size, for the first time

ATAK electric bus equipped with Ouster LiDAR
ATAK electric bus equipped with Ouster LiDAR

ADASTEC has partnered with Karsan, one of Turkey’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, to integrate the flowride.ai platform in its ATAK electric bus. In early 2021 they launched the first full-size (27 ft / 8.3m), full-speed SAE L4 autonomous electric bus in Europe.

While many European cities have run trials involving small driverless electric shuttles, and more recent deployments of regular-sized buses, this is the first commercial deployment of its kind. With a 52 passenger capacity and a maximum speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) in self-driving mode, the autonomous Atak Electric bus is leading the charge in the future of public transportation. 

“Enabled by ADASTEC’s autonomous platform, the Atak Electric Bus is our contribution to empowering next-generation public transport systems and green, sustainable smart cities and campuses,” said Dr Ali Ufuk Peker, Chief Executive Officer at ADASTEC.

“Safety is a strategic priority for us, making Ouster’s LiDAR sensors, which are designed for the highest resolution and reliability, absolutely key.” 

Contact our sales team today and discover the benefits of high-resolution digital LiDAR