ITRI announced today to be working with electric bus manufacturer tron-e on researching and developing the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) for local buses. This locally developed system can operate at a speed of 30-90km/h, and automatically signals an alert when the driver has not turned on the direction signal, or when the vehicle drifts off from the lane, before intervening to correct the driving trajectory. The system is applicable on bus routes in the city, suburb, and on highways.
In order to improve the competitiveness of the electric bus industry, MOTC’s Electric Bus Demonstration Program stipulates actual schedule for automated and smart equipment projects, and asks all participants to incorporate LKAS as a standard configuration for electric buses such as city buses, shuttles, and intercity buses so as to improve driving safety.
Yao Da-jeng, General Director of the Mechanical and Mechatronics Systems Research Laboratories under ITRI, commented that the transition from fossil-fuel vehicles to electric vehicles has now become an inevitable global trend, among which, the market of electric buses is currently undergoing a rapid growth. ITRI has been long engaged in the R&D of self-driving and assisted driving, chassis-by-wire control, tri-power system, vehicle dynamics, as well as structural vibration and noise, thus possessing abundance of R&D energy in electric buses.
The LKAS co-developed by the ITRI and tron-e is an example of incorporating core technology into the application of local electric buses, and the biggest selling point is how its precise dynamic control is able to maintain a bus that weighs more than 10 tons within a 3-4m wide lane while driving at 90km/h while overcoming factors such as crosswind and the height differences of road undulation.
LKAS is now configured on the tron-e’s 12m low-chassis electric bus, and is able to emit alert sound when the vehicle drifts away from the lane, before intervening with the steering wheel and correcting the vehicle’s driving lane, until the driver takes over the vehicle system, and that is when the system releases control. The system marks a successful case where a system, autonomously researched and developed by local experts, is incorporated into the application of local electric buses.
Huang Chen-sheng, Chairman of tron-e, commented that the company started from producing lithium battery materials, and has been cultivating in the fields of green vehicles and smart transportation products over the past decade by grasping on module development and in-house designs of core automotive systems. The partnership with ITRI will further incorporate automated and advanced auxiliary equipment into locally manufactured electric buses that would increase the added value of vehicles and guarantee the safety of both drivers and passengers.
tron-e will continue to provide locally produced electric buses for the comfort of the public in the future, and target at overseas markets with plans to commence electric bus projects and deployment in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and India, promoting MIT products to the global sector.
As estimated by the survey of MarketsandMarkets, the scale of the global electric bus market will ascend from 112K units in 2022 to 671K units in 2027 under a CAGR of nearly 43.1%. The Taiwanese government actively deploys in smart electric buses, and aims to arrive at 11.7K of electric buses by 2030.
(Cover photo source: ITRI)