Seven companies to test self-driving bus technologies for public transit
A self-driving bus test project organised by the “Mobility Innovation Consortium,” an organisation to promote autonomous driving led by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) will be supported by Advanced Smart Mobility Co., Ltd., Aichi Steel Corporation, Kyocera, Nippon Signal Co., Ltd., NEC Corporation and SoftBank Corp.
Project tests, which will occur between December 2018 and March 2019, are designated to evaluate self-driving technologies for bus transit applications, including automated lane-maintenance control, speed control, parking assist, and alternating passage tests on JR East’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines.
Kyocera will support the installation and maintenance of roadside units for vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. Through multiple BRT experiments, the companies aim to identify and solve technology issues that stand in the way of commercialising autonomous bus transit. The project is designed to evaluate technologies and public demonstration rides will not occur at this phase.
The tests will be conducted using specially modified autonomous buses provided by Advanced Smart Mobility. Technologies under evaluation include the following:
1. Lane-maintenance and speed control
High-sensitivity Magnetic Impedance (MI) sensors on the bus read information from magnetic markers placed on BRT routes to identify the vehicle’s exact position. Tests will verify the smooth and seamless operation of the bus autonomous lane-maintenance and speed control systems. By automatically controlling the vehicle’s brakes and accelerator, the test evaluates typical operation at speeds of 40km/h or lower, with stops at designated positions.
2. Precision docking
Stopping tests utilise magnetic markers that communicate spatial information to stop the bus automatically as it reaches the platform of the BRT station.
3. Narrow road “alternating passage” capability
Through radio communication between the bus and location-detection systems, this test will verify the bus’s ability to negotiate passage on a BRT roadway wide enough for just one vehicle, as another vehicle approaches from the opposite direction.
4. Other experiments
In addition to the experiments listed above, the companies will conduct location-detection tests using GPS to verify navigation and distance-measurement systems.
Location and time period
|Location||Ofunato line around BRT Takekoma Station
(Rikuzen Takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
|Time Period||December 12, 2018 – March 8, 2019|
* Time period includes equipment installation and removal.
* Tests are conducted on BRT roads. Drivers will use alternative public roads during the experiment time period.
Roles of each company
|East Japan Railway Company||･Responsible for overall test
・Maintaining BRT lanes
|Advanced Smart Mobility Co., Ltd.||・Leader of collaborative experiments
・Responsible for self-driving vehicles and vehicle control
|Aichi Steel Corporation||・Responsible for providing and placing magnetic markers
・Duties related to maintenance and control of the magnetic marker system
|Kyocera Corporation||・Responsible for vehicle-to-infrastructure communication
・Installing roadside units (LTE, ITS)
・Maintaining vehicle-to-infrastructure communication
|SoftBank Corp.||・Responsible for Multi-GNSS terminals
・Installing Multi-GNSS terminals
・Positioning quasi-zenith satellite
|Nippon Signal Co., Ltd.||・Responsible for signal apparatus installation
・Installing signal light and signal control equipment
・Signal control and management
|NEC Corporation||・Responsible for target track creation
・Control of magnetic marker system
For more information on Kyocera click here