Autonomous bus technology partner unveiled: MAN has entered a cooperation with Intel-owned Mobileye. With the manufacturer recently announcing projects and developments on the topic, one piece of the puzzle was missing: the name of the driverless technology specialist that will be working with MAN in this venture.
Now the manufacturer has announced that they are working with Mobileye: their first joint goal consists in launching pilot operation of the first automated city bus with a safety driver from 2025 as part of the just-announced MINGA research project in Munich.
Subsequently, MAN Truck & Bus is planning further pilots in actual customer use and, in perspective, full series production by the end of the decade. The fact that Germany was the first country in the world to create the legal framework for autonomous driving is a decisive advantage in this respect, the group states.
MAN – Mobileye: focus on autonomous buses
According to MAN studies, TCO will drop down of 50% with autonomous buses – needless to say where savings are going to come from.
Michael Roth, Head of Product Strategy Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, in February spoke about the future of autonomous buses and the challenges of implementing the technology at the VDV Conference and ElekBu exhibition in Berlin.
With Mobileye Drive, the expert for autonomous vehicles has developed a turnkey self-driving system that is ready for scalable commercial use and has a sophisticated sensor system. It also features “safety by design” and the use of highly scalable AV maps. Mobileye will provide the Mobileye Drive intelligent Automated Driving System (ADS) along the planned roadmap, MAN states. Meanwhile, MAN will create the necessary vehicle architecture to meet bus automation requirements.
MAN turns to Mobileye
The first automated MAN bus of the type Lion’s City E is to prove itself in Munich’s city traffic from as early as 2025, accompanied by a safety driver. It is to be used on bus route 144 through the Olympic Park, which is characterised by tourism and leisure, as part of the MINGA research project. In the project, which is led by the Mobility Department (Mobilitätsreferat) of the City of Munich and funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), MAN and numerous other project partners from industry, science, administration and associations are working, among other things, on the integration of automated vehicles into the existing mobility ecosystem.
“The fact that urban bus mobility in the future will not only be emission-free and connected, but also automated, is not a general question, but merely a question of time,” says Barbaros Oktay, Head of Bus at MAN Truck & Bus. “MAN Truck & Bus has therefore strategically positioned itself through the cooperation with Mobileye in such a way that we can jointly set the decisive milestones on our further path to the automation of the city bus.”
“We are excited about the future collaboration with MAN Truck & Bus. We care about sustainable mobility solutions in both the private and public sectors and see autonomous vehicle technologies as an important contribution to making public transport safer, more efficient and more accessible. MAN Truck & Bus and Mobileye share a clear vision for autonomous mobility of the future, which is underlined by this cooperation,” says Johann Jungwirth, Senior Vice President, Autonomous Vehicles at Mobileye.