Irizar explores the automation of electric buses, launching a pilot project in Malaga, Spain.

Irizar presented to Malaga City Council an all-electric and autonomous bus, which in a few months will be used by Avanza in Malaga, Spain in real-world traffic.

According to the Spanish manufacturer, it's Europe's first full-size autonomous bus (12 meters long ie model with capacity for 60 passengers), ready to enter regular service (from the port to the city center in Malaga).

The vehicle can drive in two modes: manual mode and automatic mode (autopilot). The automatic mode will be monitored by a supervisor in a control center.

"This first autonomous bus is the fruit of the AutoMost Project funded by the CDTI (Centre for Industrial Technological Development) of the Ministry of Economy of Spain which aims to develop technologies for the automation of vehicles in urban and industrial transport applications, in order to make significant increases in efficiency, safety and sustainability. Avanza participates as an operator with 11 partners, including the Irizar Group through Irizar e-mobility and Datik. The project also has the participation of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Insia, CEIT-IK4 and the University of Vigo.

Malaga will therefore become the first city in Europe to have an autonomous bus moving through its streets. It will do so from the port to the city centre and, in principle, will transfer cruise passengers arriving in the capital of Malaga.

The bus will use a high-precision positioning and guidance system and will be connected to a control centre from which specific instructions can be sent to each unit and the buses can be monitored and their itineraries accessed in real time."

"After three years of work, the pilot test is being launched in Malaga. As commented, the major innovation of AutoMost is that it puts a standard size vehicle into circulation in a real traffic situation in a city and not in a reserved space or in a restricted area."

In the words of Hector Olabegogeaskoetxea, Managing Director of Irizar e-mobility:

“We believe that this bus is ready to begin the pilot test in real operating conditions on a public highway, in a real traffic situation in the city of Malaga. This is the first test of this type with a bus of this size in Spain. These tests will undoubtedly provide data and experience in daily practical operation, which will contribute to progress in this great challenge for the future of the Irizar Group ”.