Istanbul Okan University was the first university in Turkey to establish an autonomous vehicle (AV) research group and has since pioneered the country’s first autonomous vehicle, OKANOM. 

In 2009, the university launched the Transportation Technologies and Intelligent Automotive Systems Application and Research Center (TTIS) as one of its 12 research centers and has since been the recipient of many grants from the European Union and TUBITAK (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey). Supported by the Technology Transfer Office (TTO), TTIS engages in many national and international strategic partnerships with the aim of commercializing its technological advances and conducts research in the fields of intelligent vehicles, unmanned vehicles, robots, robot groups, advanced automotive technologies, electric transportation technologies, ITS and intelligent energy and battery management systems.

TTIS is a member of EGVIA (European Green Vehicles Initiative Association), ASAM (Association of Standards of Automation and Measuring Systems), AUTOSAR (Automotive Open System Architecture) and is the only academic member of ERTICO-ITS (Europe’s Intelligent Transportation System) from Turkey. Further, TTIS is one of the founding members of ITS-Turkey (Intelligent Transportation Systems of Turkey).

In June and December of 2011, TTIS organized two workshops with the Turkish Ministry of Transportation to prepare the ITS Strategic Plan of Turkey and has continued to organize biannual international workshops ever since.

In 2014 and 2015, in partnership with TESID (Turkish Electronic Industrial Association) and YASAD (Software Industrial Association) and with the support of İSTKA (Istanbul Development Agency), TTIS established two clusters:

  • E-HIKE (Innovative and Sustainable Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology and Development and Cluster Center), established in 2014 and
  • E-HIKE Link (Innovative Intelligent and Connected Vehicles Technology Development and Cluster Center), established in 2015 and funded by İSTKA

TTIS organizes many collaborative EU and national R&D projects with the members of e-Hike and e-Hikelink. Some existing and recent projects are as follows:

  • Optimal fuel consumption with Predictive PowerTrain control and calibration for intelligent Truck (optiTruck), HORIZON 2020 
  • Intelligent Battery Management System, TÜBITAK 1003
  • Advanced Autonomous Vehicle Project, TEYDEB 1505
  • Intelligent Renewal Energy Management System, TEYDEB 1505
  • MOdify Drivers’ behaviour to Adapt for Lower Emissions (MODALES), HORIZON 2020
  • Open Innovation Autonomous Vehicle Development and Testing Platform(OPINA), EU IPA II Fund
  • Connected, Automated and Electric Vehicle Technologies and Services Innovation HUB (CAEVS-INNOHUB), EU IPA II Fund (Passed Phase I)
  • Intelligent Transport Index Development, ITS-Turkey 
  • Intelligent Energy Management System for Electric Vehicles (Ph.D Project) 
  • Replication of innovative concepts for peri-urban, rural or inner-city mobility (reciprocity), HORIZON 2020)

In 2018 (January 4th) and 2019, studies were conducted at TTIS-E-HIKE-E-HIKE Link workshops to evaluate the needs, SWOT, problems and solutions of the CCAM sector and develop a technology roadmap and the Connected, Autonomous, Electric Vehicle Technologies and Services Strategy Plan. These resulted in the development of CAEVS-INNOHUB and OPINA.

In 2020, the Open Innovation Autonomous Vehicle Development and Testing Platform Project (OPINA), was established through the scope of the Competitive Sectors Program by the Ministry of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Turkey. OPINA is co-funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey and serves to combine and extend the services of E-HIKE and E-HIKE Link. 

The aim of OPINA is to become one of the leading CCAM Excellence Centers of Europe.