Day 2 at the conference at ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo California included an update from Cemre Kavvasoglu, product management director, North America at Adastec Corp, on the lessons learned from deploying autonomous bus fleets in the US and Europe, with specific advice and insight into how to deal with adverse weather conditions and testing.
“One of the main challenges of SAE Level 4-capable automated transit bus deployments is the varying weather conditions,” he said. “Depending on where an automated transit bus gets deployed, it is vital to assess the environment’s climate, including extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, fog and extreme heat. To operate throughout varying seasons, Adastec has undertaken tremendous amounts of testing in various climates around the globe. Furthermore, Adastec has collected vast amounts of data and experience to not only handle a variety of environmental and weather conditions but also operate on different road settings during all four seasons.”
Kavvasoglu suggested several technologies that could enhance performance in poor weather conditions: “Sensor cleaning systems are crucial for maintaining clear sensor visibility by removing raindrops, snowflakes and other debris. V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) and V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication systems enable enhanced situational awareness and coordination among vehicles and infrastructure, improving safety and efficiency in adverse weather. Better weather prediction capabilities can also play a significant role in optimizing operations during adverse conditions. By utilizing advanced sensors, communication systems and accurate weather forecasting, automated transit buses can navigate challenging weather conditions more effectively, ensuring passenger safety and reliable service.”
Speaking before his presentation, Kavvasoglu explained, “The main reason I’m here is to meet with vendors to help with better communication, as well as to see what new technologies they have. It’s really important to meet partners and vendors in person, it’s something we believe in a lot. During the show, I met with existing suppliers and discovered new companies specializing in sensor cleaning.
“In terms of the presentations I attended, a strong message was that it is not sustainable to have vehicles that don’t comply with local federal regulations. At Adastec, we are replacing our European bus in the United States with the US-based manufacturer’s bus so it will comply with FMVSS and ADA and Buy America regulations. It will also leverage us to have more scalable and sustainable deployments. The show has been a great opportunity to meet people, also to speak at the conference and tell people what we are doing – developing Level 4 technologies for transportation buses in each market/continent.”