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Self-driving bus operation at Haneda innovation city approved at level 4 automation

13:20 | 10/07/2024

(Construction) - Japanese construction company Kajima has secured permission to operate the Level 4 autonomous bus "ARMA" within the Haneda Innovation City (HICity) complex in Ota Ward, Tokyo.

This approval marks the first instance of a private enterprise conducting Level 4 autonomous vehicle operations in Japan. The subsidiary of SoftBank, BOLDLY operates the bus. The company aims to extend Level 4 autonomous mobility services to routes beyond HICity.

Level 4 automation allows for driverless operation under certain conditions, such as specific areas, routes, speeds, and weather conditions. To achieve this, a system was developed to issue automatic stop commands upon detecting the sirens of emergency vehicles. This system utilizes microphones installed on the autonomous bus to detect siren sounds, which then trigger automatic stop commands via BOLDLY's remote monitoring system "Dispatcher." To ensure prompt and reliable stops when emergency vehicles approach, the communication line between the autonomous bus and Dispatcher has been made redundant.

Self-driving bus operation at Haneda innovation city approved at level 4 automation
Self-driving bus operation at Haneda innovation city approved at level 4 automation

The autonomous bus is equipped with a total of eight LiDAR sensors, capable of detecting obstacles taller than 30 centimeters. Two additional sensors have been installed at the front of the bus, enhancing its ability to detect obstacles as low as 15 centimeters. To inform surrounding drivers and pedestrians that the bus is operating autonomously, a display indicating "Autonomous Operation in Progress" has been installed.

Initially, a designated autonomous operation supervisor will be stationed onboard to provide passenger assistance and respond to incidents such as accidents, as well as to manually operate the bus if predefined operational design domain (ODD) conditions are not met. In the future, the operation model aims to transition to remote monitoring support for passengers, eliminating the need for an onboard supervisor. (2024/06/27)

The Daily Engineering and Construction News of Japan

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