Saitama Institute of Technology will participate in an autonomous driving demonstration experiment to be held in February 2024 in Asuka Village and Misato Town in Nara Prefecture, and will provide vehicles, dispatch engineers, and test drivers. Six other private companies are participating in the demonstration experiment, including Aisan Technology, Nara Kotsu, and Tokai Rika. This will be the first time that Saitama Institute of Technology's self-driving bus will run in Nara Prefecture.
In February 2022, Nara Prefecture will solicit proposals from municipalities for transportation services that utilize next-generation digital technology (digital transportation services), and in June of the same year, it will invite proposals for demonstration experiment sites (Asuka Village, Takaichi District, Ikoma District). Misato Town and 2 other areas) were selected. Discussions have been held at councils made up of experts, public transportation operators, local stakeholders, etc. regarding the content of demonstration experiments that each municipality would like to see.
This demonstration experiment assumes the introduction of new measures to promote the use of public transportation, such as autonomous driving, in Asuka Village and Misato Town, and examines specific technical and operational issues in implementing digital transportation services. , to extract materials for consideration toward maintaining and improving public transportation.
In Asuka Village, from the afternoon of February 2th to the 8th (suspended on Wednesdays), the train will run along the route from Kintetsu Asuka Station to Takamatsuzuka Tumulus to Kitora Tumulus. Misato Town is scheduled to run on the route from JR Misato Station to FSS18 Campus (the former site of Nara Gakuen University) from the afternoon of February 2th to March 28th (closed on Sundays).
The autonomous driving level in the demonstration experiments is assumed to be level 2. The Hino Rainbow II, a self-driving bus developed and owned by Saitama Institute of Technology, will run using the self-driving OS "Autoware*" and high-precision 3D maps acquired in advance.
*“Autoware” is open source software for autonomous driving systems/a registered trademark of The Autoware Foundation.
Reference: [Saitama Institute of Technology Autonomous Driving Special Site] Announcement of participation in demonstration experiment aimed at promoting the introduction of transportation services using digital technology