An experimental autonomous driving trial is to be carried out on Feb. 9 in the city of Ichinomiya, Aichi prefecture as part of the prefecture's Fiscal 2018 Autonomous Driving Experimental Trial Promotion Project. Participants include AISANTECHNOLOGY CO.,LTD. (Headquarters: Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, President: Atsushi Kato), KDDI CORPORATION (Headquarters: Chiyoda, Tokyo, President: Makoto Takahashi), KDDI Research Inc. (Headquarters: Fujimino, Saitama, President: Yasuyuki Nakajima), Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc. (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, President: Keiji Nishizawa), Tier IV Inc. (Headquarters: Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, President: Kazuya Takeda), Okaya & Co. Ltd. (Headquarters: Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, President: Tokuichi Okaya) and Nagoya University (Central campus: Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, President: Seiichi Matsuo). The first trial of its kind in Japan , the experiment will involve the use of a next-generation "5G" mobile communication system on public roads, and will include multiple vehicles operated by remotely monitored autonomous driving.
As Japan faces a full-fledged trend toward population decrease and low fertility, a number of societal issues are already emerging involving an increase in elderly drivers on regional roads and a decline in transportation options. Autonomous driving technology and the use of 5G ICT are attracting interest as tools that can be used to help ensure means of transportation in the future. The increasing sophistication of autonomous driving is making it a viable means of transportation that may alleviate problems such as geographical isolation of residents from convenient access to shopping, as well as a decline in numbers of bus and taxi drivers. It may also help promote tourism and stimulate the automotive industry.
The experimental trial involves two automated vehicles (one of which is equipped with 5G technology), which will self-drive with empty driver's seats. As they self-drive, one driver will monitor both vehicles at the same time from a remote location, assuming control in the event of any emergency.
The project is one of the ways in which AISANTECHNOLOGY, KDDI, KDDI Research, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Tier IV, Okaya & Co. and Nagoya University aim to help achieve safe, secure car life for everyone.
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