The future of public transportation is getting closer, thanks to a new partnership between Oxa, the autonomous vehicle software developer, and eVersum, the provider of electric commercial vehicles and passenger transport solutions. The two companies announced at the Busworld 2023 Europe exhibition that they will design, develop and produce shared autonomous passenger vehicles, starting with the eShuttle, a low-noise, zero-emission electric vehicle that can carry up to 50 people.
The eShuttle is not just a regular bus. It is equipped with Oxa Driver, Oxa's autonomy software, along with sensors and computing technology integrated directly on the production line. This means that the eShuttle can drive itself without human intervention, following predefined routes and reacting to dynamic traffic situations. The eShuttle also offers passenger comforts such as kneeling-stop capabilities, flexible seating, and latest-generation information systems.
The partnership between Oxa and eVersum aims to revolutionize the transportation sector by offering safe, efficient, and reliable shared autonomous transportation options for the future. By adopting autonomous eShuttles, transit operators can reduce costs, improve safety and extend service to previously inaccessible routes. The partnership also addresses a growing need for better, more flexible, and low-carbon public transport options, especially as urban populations grow and road congestion intensifies.
Oxa and eVersum are not the only ones working on autonomous passenger shuttles. Several other companies, such as Navya, EasyMile, Local Motors, and May Mobility, have been testing and deploying similar vehicles in various locations worldwide. However, Oxa and eVersum claim to have some advantages over their competitors.
Scalability of their solution
One of them is the scalability of their solution. Oxa's autonomy software is designed to be compatible with any vehicle platform, which means that it can be easily adapted to different models and sizes of vehicles. eVersum's electric base vehicles are also modular and customizable, allowing for various configurations and applications. Together, Oxa and eVersum can offer a range of autonomous passenger vehicles that can suit different needs and markets.
Quality of their technology
Another advantage is the quality of their technology. Oxa's autonomy software is based on advanced artificial intelligence algorithms that enable the vehicle to perceive its environment, plan its actions and execute them safely. Oxa's software also leverages cloud computing and edge computing to optimize performance and reliability. eVersum's electric base vehicles are built with high-quality materials and components that ensure durability and efficiency. eVersum's vehicles also feature innovative design elements that enhance passenger experience and accessibility.
Experience of their teams
A third advantage is the experience of their teams. Oxa was founded in 2021 by a group of former engineers from Waymo, Google's self-driving car project. The company has since grown to over 100 employees, with offices in London, San Francisco and Munich. Oxa has also secured partnerships with several leading automotive companies, such as Volvo Cars, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford. eVersum was established in 2020 by a team of experts in electric mobility, vehicle engineering and public transport. The company is based in Austria and has a production facility in Romania. eVersum has also collaborated with several reputable partners, such as Microvast for battery supply and Rocsys for autonomous charging.
First deployment of the eShuttles
The first deployment of the eShuttles featuring Oxa Driver software is expected to take place in the UK later this year. The details of the project have not been disclosed yet, but it will mark a milestone achievement for the country's automotive economy. The UK government has been supportive of autonomous vehicle development and testing, with initiatives such as the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the Zenzic CAM Testbed UK. The UK also has a strong demand for public transport solutions that can address its environmental and social challenges.
Oxa and eVersum are confident that their partnership will pave the way for more autonomous passenger shuttle projects in Europe and the US in the near future. They believe that their technology can provide a viable alternative to traditional public transport modes, such as buses, trams and trains. They also hope that their technology can inspire more innovation and collaboration in the transportation sector.
"We are thrilled to be working with eVersum to deploy safe, secure and efficient autonomy where it is needed most," said Gavin Jackson, CEO at Oxa. "At Oxa, we believe next-generation shuttling can deliver vital benefits to cities and industries, and this partnership represents a momentous step forward for the future of self-driving technology."
"We are excited to partner with Oxa to bring our electric vehicles to life with autonomy," said Christian Beer, CEO at eVersum. "At eVersum, we are committed to creating sustainable mobility solutions that enhance quality of life for people and communities. Together with Oxa, we can offer a unique value proposition that combines cutting-edge technology with customer-centric design." @via Oxa and eVersum.
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