Hitachi Automotive Systems Announces Autonomous Driving System Verification Test Drive on Public Road in Ibaraki Prefecture

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The FINANCIAL — Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. on February 9 announced it will conduct a verification test drive of an autonomous driving system co-developed with Hitachi Group’s Clarion Co., Ltd. on the Hitachinaka Road, a toll road in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

This verification test drive, supported by Ibaraki Prefecture, is the first time Hitachi Automotive Systems is testing an autonomous driving system on a public road. It follows the recognition by Ibaraki Prefecture in August, 2015 of Hitachi Automotive Systems as one of the corporations advancing verification testing of future robotics technologies for their practical application. The verification test drive is scheduled to take place from Monday, February 22, to Friday, February 26.

This verification test drive will take place on an expressway in which information from the test vehicles’ 360° surroundings detection sensor fusion will be integrated with information on geographic features*1 obtained from high-precision maps. This will allow the test vehicle to recognize and follow road lanes and other vehicles in its surroundings to automatically carry out single-lane driving and lane changes. For the collection of experimental data, the verification test drive will be carried out under varying conditions such as weather, time, and daylight, according to Hitachi.

Hitachi Automotive Systems’ exceptional sensor fusion sensing system allows seamless, omnidirectional detection around the test vehicle. In addition to a pair of stereo cameras in the front, it is made up of four single-lens Clarion SurroundEye*2 cameras mounted to the front, rear, left, and right of the vehicle. Four millimeter-wave radars are mounted on the front and rear ends of both sides. Information from omnidirectional sensing is fused with high-precision mapping information to obtain wide-area information. The information is then used by the electronic control unit to automatically integrate control of the engine, steering wheel, and brakes to achieve automated acceleration, steering, and braking. This is equivalent to Automated Driving Level 2 3 and will be verified on an expressway.

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One feature of Hitachi Automotive Systems’ autonomous driving system is that its core components are made up of products and technologies from Hitachi Group companies, allowing optimum integrated control. These include the vehicle’s internal network such as sensors and actuators, as well as the electronic control unit, human machine interface, and high-precision mapping systems, etc. Hitachi Automotive Systems’ autonomous driving is not only safe, but achieves smooth and comfortable driving that is environmentally friendly.

Moving ahead, Hitachi Automotive Systems and Clarion will accelerate their development of an advanced autonomous driving system. This will be achieved through repeated testing and evaluation, including verification tests on public roads, in order to work towards reducing traffic accidents, resolving or easing traffic congestions, supporting the movement of elderly persons, and solving other social issues.


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