April 19, 2019
Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) will conduct a Project for Public-Road Demonstration Tests for Mid-Sized Buses with Autonomous Driving Functions from FY2019 to FY2020.
Autonomous driving of automobiles can contribute to reducing the number of traffic accidents, securing means of mobility for the elderly, and meeting other social advantages. Autonomous driving technology is therefore expected to be commercialized as early as possible. Against this backdrop, the government of Japan has upheld a goal that Japan should realize a mobility service that uses unmanned, autonomous driving technology in limited areas by 2020.
To this end, METI and MLIT have been advancing a project titled “Research and Development/Demonstration Project for Implementation of an Advanced Autonomous Driving System in Society: Demonstration of Implementing a Terminal Transportation System in Society Taking Advantage of Autonomous Driving, etc., on Dedicated Lanes,” which has been commissioned to the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
As part of the efforts under the project, METI and MLIT decided to launch a Project for Public-Road Demonstration Tests for Mid-Sized Buses with Autonomous Driving Functions from FY2019. In FY2019, the ministries will advance remodeling of mid-sized buses to additionally mount autonomous driving functions on them. In addition, on April 19, 2019, the AIST, to which METI and MLIT have commissioned the project, will start a call for applicants for a coordinator of mid-sized buses with autonomous driving functions and the selected coordinator will hold calls for applicants for transportation businesses that operate mid-sized buses with autonomous driving functions, sort the applicants, and subcontract bus operation to selected businesses. Following this, around the summer of 2019, the selected coordinator will start a call for applicants for transportation businesses and select at least two successful applicants as operators of such buses in at least two areas, and then, in FY2020, the ministries will start the Project for Public-Road Demonstration Tests of Mid-Sized Buses with Autonomous Driving Functions.
As an effort prior to the FY2019 selection of transportation businesses, on April 19, 2019, the AIST will start a call for applicants for a coordinator of mid-sized buses with autonomous driving functions and select a coordinator that will hold calls for transportation businesses as operators of such buses, sort them, and subcontract bus operation to selected businesses.
For the materials of the call for applicants for the coordinator mentioned above, visit the AIST website:
- AIST website for the call (in Japanese)
- Approach to assessing the demonstration tests of mid-sized buses with autonomous driving functions (in Japanese)(PDF:195KB)
Division in Charge
ITS and Autonomous Driving Promotion Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau