Starting in January 2024, Saitama Institute of Technology has increased the number of researchers at the Autonomous Driving Technology Development Center in order to strengthen its autonomous driving research and development system. Development will be promoted through collaboration between industry, academia, and government, with a view to supporting Level 1 autonomous driving.
Saitama Institute of Technology established the Autonomous Driving Technology Development Center as a research department under the direct control of the president in April 2019, ahead of other private universities in Japan. Expert researchers in AI (artificial intelligence) and related fields are also participating to promote research and development of Japan's top-level autonomous driving technology through industry-academia-government collaboration. We have a track record of participating in many demonstration experiments aimed at social implementation of autonomous driving held in various parts of the country, and in the demonstration experiments we mainly provide autonomous driving buses developed by Saitama Institute of Technology and Responsible for technical support.
This time, the Autonomous Driving Technology Development Center has welcomed four new researchers as new members, and together with Professor Taishi Watanabe of the Faculty of Engineering's Department of Information Systems, who serves as the Center Director, the new team of seven people is also looking to support "Autonomous Driving Level 4." and work to strengthen the research and development system for autonomous driving. "Autonomous Driving Level 7" refers to fully automated driving in which the system performs all driving operations under certain conditions.
Saitama Institute of Technology has introduced a self-driving large school bus, the first of its kind among private universities in Japan, to actually transport students on public roads from the university's nearest station (Okabe Station on the JR Takasaki Line) to the campus. Limited-time service) has also begun. In January 2024, we participated in the "Autonomous Driving Bus Test Drive Event in Fukaya" as a core member of the Fukaya Autonomous Driving Implementation Consortium in Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture, where the university is located, and gave special lessons on autonomous driving to local elementary and junior high school students. I tested it beforehand and then took it for a test drive. In February, the company will participate in a demonstration experiment in Nara Prefecture (Asuka Village, Misato Town).
The self-driving bus developed by Saitama Institute of Technology is based on the Hino Rainbow, has a length of 910 cm, a width of 244 cm, a height of 307 cm, and has a seating capacity of 58 people. It has obtained a green license plate (commercial use) in order to operate as a route bus. Equipped with self-driving AI developed by customizing Autoware (trademark of The Autoware Foundation) as a joystick car (vehicle for people with disabilities sold by Mikuni Life & Auto Co., Ltd.), We have strengthened the obstacle detection (identification and classification) function of AI, and AI recognizes image information from multiple lidar and cameras as the surrounding environment using deep learning, avoiding obstacles and making public roads legal. It is possible to run within the speed limit.