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  5. Public-Road Demonstration Tests of System for Driverless Trucks Traveling on Expressways in Caravan with Drivers in the Second and Following Trucks to be Held

Public-Road Demonstration Tests of System for Driverless Trucks Traveling on Expressways in Caravan with Drivers in the Second and Following Trucks to be Held

Taking advantage of CACC and LKA technologies

October 17, 2018

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have been advancing a project titled “Research and Development/Demonstration Project for Implementation of an Advanced Autonomous Driving System in Society.” As part of this effort, they will launch public-road demonstration tests of a system for driverless trucks traveling on expressways in a caravan in which the second and following trucks are driven by humans, taking advantage of CACC (Cooperative Adaption Cruise Control *1) and other technologies. These tests will start on a part of the Joetsu Expressway on November 6, 2018, and on part of the Shin Tomei Expressway on December 4, 2018.

Under the Future Investment Strategy 2018 (approved by the Cabinet on June 9, 2017), METI and MLIT have been advancing efforts for realizing a system for enabling driverless trucks to travel on expressways in a caravan, which is one of the major goals to achieve in Japan’s mobility revolution. As part of the efforts, the ministries aim to succeed in a system for driverless trucks traveling on an expressway, i.e., the Shin Tomei Expressway, in a caravan with no drivers in neither the second nor following trucks in 2020, so as to commercialize the system in 2022 at the earliest. Following on from the FY2017 efforts, the ministries will launch public-road demonstration tests of a system for driverless trucks traveling on expressways in a caravan with drivers in the second and following trucks. These tests are expected to contribute to the development of a system for driverless trucks traveling in a caravan with no drivers in neither the second nor following trucks, aiming to achieve commercialization of the system for driverless trucks traveling in a caravan with drivers in the second and following trucks in 2021.

In FY2017, the ministries started the demonstration test of a system for driverless trucks traveling on expressways in a caravan with drivers in the second and following trucks, using CACC-mounted trucks developed by four domestic manufacturers, and this was the world’s first effort in this field (*2).

Following on from this test, the ministries will conduct new demonstration tests of the system for driverless trucks traveling on expressways in a caravan with drivers in the second and following trucks, taking advantage of not only CACC technology but also additional LKA (Lane Keeping Assist) technology (*3), the world’s first effort in this field (*4), on the parts of the following expressways: the Joetsu Expressway between Fujioka Junction (JCT) and Koushoku JCT from November 6, 2018, and the Shin Tomei Expressway between Hamamatsu Service Area (SA) and Enshu-morimachi Parking Area (PA) from December 4, 2018. These tests will be conducted by expanding the distances of test traveling longer than the previous test and aim to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technologies in a variety of road environments, e.g., differences in height and tunnels.

In these demonstration tests, the ministries will confirm the following points as well: how other drivers of vehicles traveling nearby the caravan recognize the caravan, e.g., conspicuity and impressions, influence of the caravan on behaviors of traveling vehicles nearby the caravan, e.g., when the caravan overtakes other traveling vehicles, and other elements.

 

Inquiries about the demonstration tests (secretariat of the tests):
Telephone: 0120-130-833 (service hours: from 8:00 to 16:00)

*Notes:
  1. The term “CACC” is an abbreviation of “Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control.” Using a communication means of the cooperative support system for keeping a predetermined inter-vehicle distance, the CACC function receives control information from a leading vehicle, automatically controls speed, and keeps the predetermined inter-vehicle distance.
  2. This was the world’s first effort in terms of traveling of driverless trucks in a caravan with drivers in the second and following trucks taking advantage of the CACC technology, in which the CACC technology was jointly developed by multiple truck manufacturers and the trucks were developed by four different truck manufacturers.
  3. The term “LKA” is an abbreviation of “Lane Keeping Assist.” This technology provides a function of detecting white lines on the roads and adjusting steering to keep the target traveling vehicle within the same lane.
  4. This will be the world’s first effort in terms of traveling of driverless trucks in a caravan with drivers in the second and following trucks taking advantage of the CACC and LKA technologies, in which the CACC technology is jointly developed by multiple truck manufacturers and the LKA technology is additionally mounted on trucks that are developed by four different truck manufacturers.

Division in Charge

ITS and Autonomous Driving Promotion Office, Automobile Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau