News Releases

This news release is intended for media purposes, and is current of the date of publication. Information is subject to change without notice.

KYOCERA to Participate in Self-Driving Bus Test Project on JR East BRT Lines

Seven companies to test autonomous bus technologies for public transit

December 12, 2018
Kyocera Corporation (President: Hideo Tanimoto) announced that it will participate in a self-driving bus test project organized by the “Mobility Innovation Consortium,” an organization to promote autonomous driving led by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Other corporations participating in the test project will include Advanced Smart Mobility Co., Ltd., Aichi Steel Corporation, SoftBank Corp., Nippon Signal Co., Ltd. and NEC Corporation.

Project tests, which will occur between December 2018 and March 2019, are designated to evaluate self-driving technologies for bus transit applications, including 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 commercializing autonomous bus transit. The project is designed to evaluate technologies and public demonstration rides will not occur at this phase.

Image: Experimental self-driving bus
Experimental self-driving bus
* A driver will be present on the self-driving bus in case of emergency during self-driving testing.

Project Overview
The tests will be conducted using specially modified autonomous buses provided by Advanced Smart Mobility. Technologies under evaluation include the following:

1. Lane-Maintenance and Speed Control
High-sensitivity Magnetic Impedance (MI) sensors on the bus read information from magnetic markers placed on BRT routes to identify the vehicle’s exact position. Tests will verify the smooth and seamless operation of the bus autonomous lane-maintenance and speed control systems. By automatically controlling the vehicle’s brakes and accelerator, the test evaluates typical operation at speeds of 40km/h or lower, with stops at designated positions.   Image: Lane-Maintenance and Speed Control

2. Precision Docking
Stopping tests utilize magnetic markers that communicate spatial information to stop the bus automatically as it reaches the platform of the BRT station.
Image: Precision Docking

3. Narrow Road “Alternating Passage” Capability
Through radio communication between the bus and location-detection systems, this test will verify the bus’s ability to negotiate passage on a BRT roadway wide enough for just one vehicle, as another vehicle approaches from the opposite direction.
Image: Narrow Road “Alternating Passage” Capability

4. Other Experiments
In addition to the experiments listed above, the companies will conduct location-detection tests using GPS to verify navigation and distance-measurement systems.

Location and Time Period
Location Ofunato line around BRT Takekoma Station
(Rikuzen Takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
Time Period December 12, 2018 - March 8, 2019
* Time period includes equipment installation and removal.
* Tests are conducted on BRT roads. Drivers will use alternative public roads during the experiment time period.

Roles of Each Company
East Japan Railway Company ·Responsible for overall test
·Maintaining BRT lanes
Advanced Smart Mobility Co., Ltd. ·Leader of collaborative experiments
·Responsible for self-driving vehicles and vehicle control systems
Aichi Steel Corporation ·Responsible for providing and placing magnetic markers
·Duties related to maintenance and control of the magnetic marker system
Kyocera Corporation ·Responsible for vehicle-to-infrastructure communication
·Installing roadside units (LTE, ITS)
·Maintaining vehicle-to-infrastructure communication
SoftBank Corp. ·Responsible for Multi-GNSS terminals
·Installing Multi-GNSS terminals
·Positioning quasi-zenith satellite
Nippon Signal Co., Ltd. ·Responsible for signal apparatus installation
·Installing signal light and signal control equipment
·Signal control and management
NEC Corporation ·Responsible for target track creation
·Control of magnetic marker system