Driverless minibus ‘MiCa’ avoids obstacles and adapts to various weather conditions

MiCa Driverless Minibus Auve Tech
MiCa avoids obstacles and adapts to harsh weather conditions. Images © Auve Tech

Estonian technology company Auve Tech recently announced the launch of its newest autonomous shuttle, MiCa. According to the company, the driverless minibus is built to focus on safety and practicality while making it powerful enough to run in a broad spectrum of traffic and weather conditions.

The minibus is geared with 7 LiDAR sensors and 10 cameras to offer 360-degree visibility of its environment and see further than the company’s previous model.

What is MiCa?

MiCa is the new generation self-driving shuttle that takes self-driving, practicality, and safety to a new level and enables autonomous driving in different traffic and weather conditions.

Safety has been the focus while creating the new generation vehicle. MiCa features seven LiDAR sensors and ten cameras, and offers 360-degree visibility of its environments. The risk of errors has also been lowered with the help of redundant critical systems on board to ensure reliability in every situation.

Auve Tech, based in the Baltic nation’s capital Tallinn, has comprehensive expertise in building AVs (Autonomous Vehicles), with its previous-generation products already carrying passengers in twelve different countries. However, MiCa is claimed to constitute a big step forward, taking practicality and safety to a whole new level, having been tested in heavy snow and rain in Estonia.

Level 4 self-driving power

MiCa Driverless Minibus Auve Tech Boldly
BOLDLY partnered with Estonia-based Auve Tech to roll out new autonomous shuttle “MiCa” in Japan.

MiCa’s level 4 self-driving capability—meaning it can run unmanned—is delivered through the seven LiDAR sensors and 10 cameras. The key safety-related systems, such as braking, sensors, computers, and steering, have been made redundant to lower risk. It’s 13 feet in length, nearly 6 feet in width, and 8 feet in height and is claimed to be spacious enough, with a seating capacity for eight. Moreover, its small turning radius makes it capable of dealing with narrow roads.

A minibus that can handle harsh weather

The climate in Estonia enables Auve Tech to test MiCa in a wide array of environments, ranging from thick snow to heavy rains, giving the driverless minibus a definite competitive advantage. What’s more, the powerful air conditioning system enables MiCa to be used in warmer climates as well.

It can accommodate 8 passengers

Auve Tech explained that their driverless minibus could carry at least eight passengers. It has foldable seats on board to minimize taking up too much space. This strategy applies to people who love to bring bulky objects and super-sized luggage with them. It’s also perfect for people who lug their bikes.

MiCa Driverless Minibus LiDAR Cameras 8 Passengers
MiCa can accommodate eight passengers.

There’s a strong interest in MiCa in regions that are densely populated. The expansive MiCa is electric and fits well in urban areas while being compact and offering space for more people than a standard passenger car.

Auve Tech’s self-driving car concept grew out of cooperation with the Tallinn University of Technology way back in 2017. The company became the first Estonian manufacturing company of self-driving cars, specializing in last-mile transportation in pre-mapped regions.

MiCa is the company’s second model. It’s tailored to Japanese roads and has the ability to adapt to the different weather conditions in Japan. Auve Tech aims to introduce the electric driverless vehicle onto the roads of Japan by 2023.

Source: Auve Tech