At the Slush startup event in Helsinki today, MOOVE GmbH and Sensible 4 Oy announced that they have partnered to bring a new serial-produced, self-driving shuttle bus to the European market in 2023.
“We are excited about this partnership, bringing highly automated Level 4 driving to our Mover platform and serving customers with specific automatic and autonomous solutions,” said Stefan Miltenyi, CEO of MOOVE.
Funded in 2018 at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany, MOOVE is developing electric and autonomous vehicles. The startup said it is designing its light commercial vehicle platform for a delivery and passenger service ecosystem that will reduce emissions, accidents, and noise in cities.
“We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with MOOVE,” said Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4. “With their strong German manufacturer knowledge combined with our technology, we are challenging the traditional automotive companies [and] bringing new competitive solutions to the market.”
The founders of Sensible 4 said they have been developing autonomous vehicles since the 1980s. The Espoo, Finland-based company said it is develping full-stack software that combines data from several different sensors, enabling vehicles to operate autonomously in all weather conditions, including snowfall and fog.
Sensible 4 received $7 million in Series A funding from Japanese investors last year, and its technology has won multiple awards, including first place in the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport 2019 competition and the Finnish Engineering Prize in 2020.
MOOVE and Sensible 4
MOOVE said its first vehicles, PeopleMover and CargoMover, “will be built in disruptive micro-factories, which will focus on sustainability, energy efficiency, and minimizing environmental impact by eliminating traditional manufacturing processes, such as pressing and painting.”
The company said it is partnering with autonomous driving software and hardware technology providers on the base Mover platform. MOOVE said its customizable interface can be adapted to suit customer use cases that demand specific automatic and autonomous solutions. For instance, PeopleMover can carry up to 19 passengers.
Sensible 4 noted that because its autonomous driving software can perform well in weather conditions such as rain and snow, it is suitable for operations in Europe. The company has tested its system in Norway, Finland, and Switzerland. It plans to launch Dawn, “the world’s first commercial all-weather software product for SAE Level 4 driverless last-mile shuttles,” next year.
The partners said they will begin trials of MOOVE's PeopleMover with Sensible 4's autonomy software in February 2022 in Aachen, Germany. They intend to bring the all-weather shuttle bus to the European market in 2023 and said it will not require a safety driver on board.