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Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.
February 2, 2018
Tokyo, February 2, 2018 ---Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. today announced that it is conducting an autonomous driving system verification test drive on ordinary roads in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, from February 5 to 16, 2018. This verification test drive is being conducted with the support of Ibaraki Prefecture under the prefecture's program for supporting verification testing and practical application of robots. It will be Hitachi Automotive Systems' first verification test drive on ordinary roads. Due to safety, this verification test drive will not be open to the public.
Hitachi Automotive Systems and Hitachi Group's Clarion Co., Ltd. have been building up efforts in autonomous driving system verification test drives with support from the Ibaraki Prefectural Government, such as a verification test drive on an expressway in Hitachinaka City (February 2016), and a verification test drive within the mock-up city streets of the Japan Safe Driving Center Central Training Academy for Safe Driving in Hitachinaka City to simulate driving on ordinary roads (December 2016 to March 2017). During the verification test drive on mock-up city streets, issues related to sensor fusion-a function which integrates multiple sensors to achieve the high level of recognition needed for autonomous driving-were identified with regard to driving on ordinary roads. Specifically, unlike driving on expressways, sensors need to accurately recognize detected objects even in complicated surroundings, such as oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and driving at various types of junctions. This is especially important at junctions, where it is now understood that sensors have difficulties in recognizing detected objects accurately while making large turns at slow speeds.
This verification test drive will address these issues by upgrading the sensor fusion function through a review of the number, type, and position of sensors installed on the vehicle, and verify if the system can accurately recognize detected objects necessary for autonomous driving on ordinary roads. In addition, using map information and the vehicle position obtained from the mapping unit, the accuracy of vehicle position will be verified to see if it is at a level necessary for autonomous driving on ordinary roads.
Moving forward, Hitachi Automotive Systems will contribute to the early realization of autonomous driving by automobile manufacturers through repeated testing and evaluation such as verification test drives, as well as accelerating the development of various sensor technologies for realizing an advanced autonomous driving system.
Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company is engaged in the development, manufacture, sales and services of automotive components, transportation related components, industrial machines and systems, and offers a wide range of automotive systems including engine powertrain systems, electric powertrain systems, and integrated vehicle control systems. For more information, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi-automotive.co.jp/en/.