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GACHA, the first all-weather autonomous-driving bus launched by MUJI and Sensible 4

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Using the unique sensing technology from Finland's Sensible 4 and the futuristic aesthetic design from Japan's MUJI, the self-driving shuttle bus GACHA has been demonstrated as a working prototype. They are looking for investors to take the business to the next level, and manufacturers to build the buses.

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Sensible 4 and MUJI have launched GACHA, the first self-driving shuttle bus in the world for all weather conditions. The vehicle is a result of the collaboration between Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4 and Japanese lifestyle retailer MUJI. While Sensible 4 provided the technology for the vehicle, including superior positioning, navigation and obstacle detection to allow year-round autonomous driving regardless of the weather, MUJI has provided the vehicle's design, developing the functional aesthetic and optimum user experience.

GACHA's debut test-drive took place in front of the new Oodi Helsinki Central Library, a significant site in the Finnish capital. After the preview, GACHA will begin operating for the general public in Espoo in April 2019, rolling out to Hämeenlinna, Vantaa and Helsinki later in 2019. MUJI and Sensible 4 are currently planning to produce the first GACHA fleet for use on public roads in 2020 for various cities in Finland and abroad. MUJI and Sensible 4 aim for the self-driving shuttle fleets to operate as a part of the cities' existing transportation systems in 2021, with a long-term objective of establishing partnerships with other pioneering cities around the world.

“GACHA development got started when Sensible 4 team, working back then with the first generation of robot buses, noticed that they just don't perform at all even in light rain, not to mention the typical winter conditions in Finland. Completely autonomous self-driving technology is not here yet. Most self-driving cars can operate only in ideal weather conditions and well-marked roads. This is what Sensible 4 has managed to change through repeated tests in the harsh winter conditions of the Finnish Lapland”, says Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4.

Aside from its all-weather capabilities, MUJI's design also differentiates GACHA from similar projects, in particular the vehicle's lack of a front or rear. The interior seating follows the soft rounded square shape of the bus, creating more space for passengers while the LED light belt serves as both headlights and an external communication screen. Inspiration for the design came from a toy capsule, a universal shape that embodies joy and excitement, bringing peace and happiness to
those who encounter it.

Facts about GACHA:

  • Fullstack of autonomous driving sensors; lidars, radars, 360 deg camera vision, high precision GPS, inertia unit and control over 4GLTE/5G
  • Max speed: 40 km/h autonomous
  • Powertrain: 4WD electric
  • Range: 100+ km
  • Fast charging with wireless charging as an option
  • Dimensions: 4.5 * 2.4 * 2.8 m (L*W*H)
  • Capacity: 10 seats, 6 standing
  • Easy access for people with limited mobility
  • Exterior displays around the vehicle for vehicle intention communications


Future plans of GACHA bus:


2019

  • Pilots in the Finnish cities of Espoo, Hämeenlinna, Vantaa and Helsinki.
  • First international test-drive
  • Development of first GACHA fleet

2020
Pre-commercial operation of GACHA fleet in selected cities in Europe and beyond

2021

  • First permanent commercial operations established
  • Integration within local public transportation systems
  • Industrial production to begin

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GACHA, the first all-weather autonomous-driving bus launched by MUJI and Sensible 4
Modified on Friday 15th March 2019
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GACHA, the first all-weather autonomous-driving bus launched by MUJI and Sensible 4
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