Karsan Senior Manager Bas, regarding the use of the vehicle, said, “There are some developments regarding this, but I do not want to share this because it is not clear. It will be used in Turkey, but we will make the first use in the Presidential Complex.”
Karsan Chief Executive (CEO) Okan Bas answered the questions of the AA reporter regarding Karsan Autonomous Atak Electric, the first mass-produced driverless electric bus in Europe and America, produced by Turkish engineers and introduced yesterday at the Presidential Complex.
Expressing that he sees yesterday’s presentation as a historical moment, Bas said, “We have a driverless bus produced in Turkey as of today. Our President was also very excited. He expressed that it is a great pride that this vehicle is produced in Turkey and developed by Turkish engineers.”
Stating that they have made all their new product investments for 3 years by focusing on future technologies, Bas said, “But, thinking that the vehicle will be autonomous while making it electrified, and every product will become autonomous in the next stage, we have produced an electric vehicle by preparing that infrastructure. Until now, we have been producing both Jest and Atak electricians as mass production. We have been selling electric vehicles in the market for 2 years.”
“Autonomous Atak Electric is a very optimum size vehicle”
Pointing out that the Autonomous Atak Electric is a very optimum sized vehicle, Bas said, “There are smaller vehicles on the market. There are applications made by a few companies in the world and they sell in 10-20 units. However, seeing that these were not at optimum sizes, we chose Atak as the product we focused on and started to work on it. Of course, we worked very well with Adastec here, towards industrializing the product. The fact that Atak is an industrial product, electrical industrial product, and that its infrastructure is suitable for a driverless vehicle made our work easier and helped us move faster.”
Stating that Autonomous Atak Electric is a first in the USA and Europe as a commercialized and mass production, Bas said, “I am not saying it is the first in the world, because I am not very sure about China. There are certain products made in China and we speak a little cautiously because we cannot find their details very well. It is sometimes tried in the world, but I can clearly say that it is a pioneer. “
“First orders will go to Romania and the USA”
Karsan CEO Okan Bas stated that 2 Karsan Autonomous Atak Electric orders have been received so far.
Bas continued his words as follows:
“We have made an agreement for 2 vehicles at the moment. We have produced one, we are about to send it and we started to produce the second one. We sold one to Romania, the vehicle will work as a shuttle in a technopark. They will also do some research there. They will also have their own applications. Then we will send a vehicle to the USA in May-June. It comes into play there as the first product of a great future work. Obviously, we have meetings with other operators, but of course, I cannot share them because they are not yet developed. We want to move very quickly so that the vehicle can find its place in commercial terms.”
“This vehicle can also be used in public transport as it is”
Okan Bas also mentioned in which areas the driverless electric bus Karsan Autonomous Atak Electric will be used.
Stating that they aim to use the vehicle especially in public transportation, Bas said, “This vehicle can also be used in public transportation as it is right now. It will also be used on certain bus routes, that is, on bus routes to be shown to us by certain operators in the city. Of course, since it is autonomous, it needs certain special permissions at this stage. But they can already be bought with these operators we talked to. It can also be used in more indoor environments as a service vehicle, but can also be used on bus routes in the city. In fact, there are opportunities in these areas, our target is public transportation.”
Stating that Northern European countries are much faster and pioneers in electrical transformation, Bas stated that they can progress further in these countries, and stated that they plan to test the vehicle in every country of Europe.
“The first use of the vehicle in Turkey will be in the Presidential Complex”
Bas, on the question of whether the vehicle will be used in Turkey, said “There may be some special situations. There are some developments about this, but I do not want to share this because it is not clear. It will be used in Turkey, but we will make the first use in the Presidential Complex. Because yesterday, our President had a clear request. Mr. Inan gave clear instructions this morning about immediately preparing that vehicle. We are currently preparing a vehicle to be used in the Presidential Complex.”
“We will make the global launch of the vehicle abroad in the coming days”
Stating that operators in Europe are very interested in the vehicle, Bas completed his words as follows:
“We have always talked about this project at conferences. They are all very interested in autonomous vehicles. I think it will attract a great deal of attention. We will make the global launch of the vehicle in the coming days. There will be promotions to our customers abroad, to our own organization in Europe. It will take shape further after that.”
President Erdogan took a private tour in the complex by car
On the other hand, the autonomous Atak Electric, the driverless bus of Europe and America, developed with the autonomous software of Karsan and Turkish technology company Adastec, was showcased yesterday at the event held at the Presidential Complex.
After the inspections of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his delegation, they took a special tour in the Presidential Complex with the driverless Autonomous Atak Electric with Level 4 autonomous features.
It has a passenger capacity of over 52 and a range of 300 kilometers
According to the information received from Karsan, the Autonomous Atak Electric, which is a Level 4 autonomous bus that can operate on a real route in the 8-meter class for the first time in Europe and America, was developed by studies on Karsan’s 100% electric model Atak Electric.
The testing, simulation, and validation studies of the Autonomous Atak Electric were completed in 1 year and made ready for mass production. In the project carried out by Karsan’s R&D team, cooperation was made with another Turkish technology company Adastec to develop Autonomous Atak Electric.
Autonomous Atak Electric, which was produced as the first mass-production vehicle of this cooperation and sold to Romania, will be delivered at the end of February and it will start serving the country.
Developed by the joint efforts of Karsan and Adastec, the Autonomous Atak Electric was developed on Atak Electric, which takes its power from 220 kWh batteries developed by BMW and produces a torque of 2500 Nm by reaching 230 kW. Atak Electric’s 8.3-meter dimensions, more than 52 passengers, and a 300-kilometer range made the Autonomous Atak Electric a pioneer in its class.
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz