Self-driving bus trial gathers momentum

A self-driving bus is undergoing trials along an entire Bus Rapid Transit line (BRT) in a bid to demonstrate how efficient the technology could become.

Japanese infrastructure technology firm Kyocera announced that it will participate in the self-driving bus test, organised by the “Mobility Innovation Consortium”. The group promotes autonomous driving and is led by the East Japan Railway Company, Advanced Smart Mobility Co. Ltd., Aichi Steel Corporation, SoftBank Corp, Nippon Signal Co and the NEC Corporation.

The tests will take place until March 2019 and are designed to evaluate self-driving technologies for bus transit applications around the world. This includes 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.

Technologies being tested include lane maintenance and speed control using magnetic sensors, precision docking in bus stops, dealing with approaching vehicles and GPS navigation and distance measurements.