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Demonstration Test to be Launched for Evaluation of Unmanned Last-Mile Autonomous Driving in Wajima City to Achieve Mobility Revolution Japan's first case of unmanned, autonomous driving test on a public road

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry(METI)and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism(MLIT)have jointly developed vehicles with a built-in technology equivalent to the Level 4 Autonomous Driving Technologies through the project commissioned to the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology(AIST). Using the vehicles, on December 18, 2017, the ministries will launch a demonstration test to evaluate Japan’s first unmanned autonomous vehicle test on a public road in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, which will be monitored and in the event of an emergency will be driven by an operator from a remote site.

1. Purpose

Transportation services that take advantage of unmanned autonomous driving systems in depopulated and regional areas could contribute to curbing operation costs of public transportation, overcoming challenges in driver shortages, and mitigating burdens for people with limited mobility. From these viewpoints, the need for these services has been growing among municipalities and with regional transportation businesses.

In accordance with the goals set in the Future Strategy 2017(approved by the Cabinet on June 9, 2017), METI and MLIT aim to realize a mobility service that uses an unmanned, autonomous driving system in 2020 as one of the major efforts for achieving this revolution in mobility. To this end, they have been advancing a project titled “Research and Development/Demonstration Project for Implementation of an Advanced Autonomous Driving System in Society.”

On December 1, 2017, the developed vehicle received Japan's first approval for relaxed standards as remote controlled autonomous driving vehicle by Hokuriku-Shinetsu District Transport Bureau, MLIT. In addition, on December 12, 2017, the vehicle passed a driving test as an unmanned vehicle (no person in the vehicle) conducted by Ishikawa Prefectural Police Office based on the Criteria for Public Road Use Permission for Demonstration Tests of Remote Controlled Autonomous Driving Vehicles which was formulated by the National Police Agency based on the approval of the Hokuriku-Shinetsu District Transport Bureau.

Against this backdrop, as part of the project, METI and MLIT decided to launch a demonstration test to evaluate Japan's first unmanned autonomous driving using vehicles with a built-in technology developed by AIST and equivalent to the Level 4 Autonomous Driving Technologies, which will be monitored and in the event of an emergency will be driven by an operator from a remote site.

2. Schedule

Date:December 18 (Mon.), 2017; from 13:30
Venue of the demonstration test: Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture

Release date

December 13, 2017

Division in Charge

Automobile Division, Manufacturing Industries Burea

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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