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Call for Applicants for Transportation Businesses to Operate Public-Road Demonstration Tests for Mid-sized Buses with Autonomous Driving Functions

June 26, 2019

Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

On June 26, 2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) will start a call for applicants for transportation businesses that operate public-road demonstration tests for mid-sized buses with autonomous driving functions. This call is part of the efforts involving the FY2019-FY2020 Project for Public-Road Demonstration Tests for Mid-sized Buses with Autonomous Driving Functions.

Autonomous driving of automobiles can contribute to reducing the number of traffic accidents, securing means of mobility for the elderly, and providing other benefits to society. The earliest possible commercialization of autonomous driving technology is therefore highly anticipated. 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, Public, Autonomous Driving System: Demonstration of Implementing a Public Terminal Transportation System 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 proceed with remodeling of mid-sized buses to additionally mount autonomous driving equipment onto them. In addition, on June 26, 2019, the AIST, to which the ministries have commissioned the project, will start a call for applicants for transportation businesses to operate mid-sized buses with autonomous driving functions. The AIST will select two or more transportation businesses and two or more target areas for the demonstration tests.

For the details of the call, visit the AIST website:

Period of the call:

From 14:00, June 26 (Wed.), to 16:00, August 23 (Fri.), 2019

References:

Division in Charge

ITS and Autonomous Driving Promotion Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau