Sensible 4 and MUJI Partner to Develop Autonomous Shuttle Bus for All Weather Conditions

Finnish autonomous vehicle developer Sensible 4 announced its partnership with Japanese retail brand MUJI to develop an autonomous shuttle bus which is able to work under any weather condition. Sensible 4 will provide its expertise in autonomous driving technology for functions of the bus such as positioning, navigation and obstacle detection, while MUJI will be in charge of user experience and the look of the vehicle.

(Image: Sensible 4)

The autonomous shuttle bus, named Gacha, will be showcased in Helsinki in March 2019 and start operating in three Finnish cities to provide traffic services for local people. Sensible 4 and MUJI are also planning to launch the first Gacha fleet in 2020.

Gacha bus is equipped with a sensor package including four LiDARs, eight radars, a 360 degree camera, GPS, inertia unit and control system utilizing 4GLTE or 5G. Designed by MUJI with its simple and streamline style, the Gacha autonomous bus does not have a distinct front or back. There is a LED light belt surrounding the bus to serve as both the headlight and display screen.

Sensible 4 aims to create autonomous vehicles that are durable and functional under various weather conditions such as heavy rain, fog or snow. The company has focused on technology test and validation under the arctic Lapland conditions. "We are developing these vehicles so that they can become part of daily transportation service chain. Autonomous vehicles can't become mainstream until their technology has been insured to work in all climates", says Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4.

According to Sensible 4, the goal of its collaboration with MUJI is to develop autonomous shuttle bus fleets for mainstream use and to provide real transportation services for the public in 2021. The company is currently searching for industry partners who would be interested in producing the buses as well as investors to accelerate the company’s growth.

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