ANA BELA NOGUEIRA
Source: Ana Bela Nogueira
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Pioneering the transformation of the public transport with the vision of being one step ahead in the future of mobility, Karsan left its mark at Busworld Europe, exhibiting models such as the e-JEST, e-ATAK Autonomous and e-ATA Hydrogen.
Karsan’s CEO, Okan Baş, highlighted the company’s steady growth in the European market, driven by all-electric models such as the e-JEST and e-ATAK, which have topped sales and made Karsan the leader by 2022.
In the 1st half of 2023, the company achieved a market share of 6,7% in the electric urban transport segment of minibuses and buses over 5 tonnes, taking 4th place in the market. The e-JEST maintained its leadership in the electric minibus market in Europe, with a market share of 24%, while the e-ATAK, the leader in the electric midibus class in Europe for the last two years, achieved a market share of 26%.
Okan Baş has announced that the company intends to expand its presence in 22 countries by the end of the year, with an ambitious target of having 1.000 electric vehicles on the roads. The brand is also entering the Japanese market with a sales target of 300 units over the next 3 years. Karsan is focused on offering efficient and intelligent solutions to shape the future of mobility and has already won 11 international awards.
Emphasising that the e-ATAK autonomous model continues to provide services around the world, Okan Baş continued: «We have been carrying passengers in Michigan and Norway for 1.5 years with our autonomous vehicles.
«In addition, we have implemented our Autonomous e-ATAK projects in Chateauroux, France, in Bucharest, Romania, at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, and recently at Istanbul Technical University. When all these are combined, our autonomous vehicles, in total, have reached a distance of 50 thousand kilometers and carried 20 thousand passengers.
«Additionally, we have had the opportunity to experience and develop our vehicle under different climatic conditions and in various parts of the world. Especially in Michigan, we safely carried passengers with our Autonomous e-ATAK on snowy days, during which minus 25 degrees were seen, and people could not even take their vehicles out.
«On the other hand, at the IAA last year, we launched ATA Hydrogen, equipped with a fuel technology using hydrogen, the most readily available environmentally-friendly energy source in nature. In addition to electric and autonomous vehicle technologies, we continue to assume our role to be one step ahead in the mobility of the future for hydrogen technology, too».
Okan Baş pointed out: «We constantly renew, improve, and develop our technologies to build the mobility of the future. Two of our innovations in this direction are “Platooning” and “Remote Driving” features that we have started to use in our Autonomous e-ATAK vehicle in cooperation with ADASTEC.
«Platooning technology allows 2, 3, or more 8-meter Autonomous e-ATAK vehicles to operate during rush hours like a single articulated bus with imaginary bellows of 16 meters or 24 meters long. Platooning is a feature through which multiple Autonomous e-ATAK vehicles can move synchronously by following each other, stopping at a bus stop, opening their doors, and continuing on their way again.
«Operators, if needed, can reach the same passenger capacity or even more by operating 2 or 3 Autonomous e-ATAK vehicles thanks to this feature instead of buying an articulated bus. Thus, while the vehicles are consecutively used during peak hours, energy can be saved with using less vehicles in less busy hours.
«Moreover, the maneuverability of the 8-m Autonomous e-ATAK is kept, compared to an articulated bus, thanks to this technology. Through the “Remote Driving” technology we have started to use in Autonomous e-ATAK, we can instantly intervene in the vehicle in cases, including unexpected road repair works and accidents that may be encountered on the road.
«The vehicle is checked remotely without needing a safety driver and can be re-routed. When the safety driver, which is currently required by regulation, is not used anymore».