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August 31, 2016

Ibaraki University and Hitachi Automotive Systems sign a
cooperation project implementation agreement promoting joint
research into autonomous driving technology

August 8th agreement signing ceremony (Ibaraki University President Nobuo Mimura (left) and Hideaki Seki, President and CEO of Hitachi Automotive Systems)
August 8th agreement signing ceremony (Ibaraki University President Nobuo Mimura (left)
and Hideaki Seki, President and CEO of Hitachi Automotive Systems)

Tokyo, August 31, 2016 ---Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. today announced that it has signed a cooperation project implementation agreement with Ibaraki University aimed at comprehensively promoting mutual development and, with the cooperation of Ibaraki Prefecture, contributing to regional development and industrial promotion. Based on this agreement, Ibaraki University and Hitachi Automotive Systems will conduct joint research and academic exchanges in the area of autonomous driving technology. In addition, they will promote personnel exchanges and global internships for the development of human resources to contribute to regional development of Ibaraki Prefecture by improving industrial competitiveness and creating new technologies for next-generation vehicles.

Ibaraki University and Hitachi Automotive Systems have already been conducting joint research relating to basic technology and the new agreement will expand the scope of this cooperation to cover applied automated driving related technologies. This fiscal year, in the area of surrounding environment recognition technology, a key technology in autonomous vehicle operation, joint research will be carried out related to on-board outside recognition sensors such as cameras and millimeter-wave radars. Looking ahead, strategic joint research will be conducting while also setting innovative themes. For that, Ibaraki University has launched a “Next-Generation Mobility Basic Technology Research Project” as a priority research undertaking. In the future, utilizing research into basic technology that includes social functions, the aim is to improve the core technology of next-generation vehicles including the autonomous driving systems of Hitachi Automotive Systems.

In addition to joint research, there will also be a strengthening of cooperation relating to the training of the human resources that will underpin the next-generation vehicle industry. Acceptance of internships to Hitachi Automotive Systems from Ibaraki University will be expanded to include overseas locations to bring in human resources that can be trained for international activities, and there will be a focus on accelerating acceptance of joint university courses, assigned lecturers and working doctoral students.

Under the cooperation of the agreement, the regional development of Ibaraki Prefecture is based on the promotion of joint research and human resource development that is global in scale while at the same time being rooted in the region. Ibaraki University entered into a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Ibaraki Prefecture in 2008. Hitachi Automotive Systems, which has its head office “Sawa Works” located in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki, conducted a verification test drive of an autonomous driving system on Hitachinaka Road in February 2016 as part of an Ibaraki Prefecture business support program for promotion of technology demonstration. In addition, extensive support is being provided by the prefecture, including the building of a development test facility in the grounds of the Sawa Works, construction of which starts in August 2016.

The present comprehensive agreement was also realized through the cooperation of the prefecture, and through the further strengthening of future cooperation, with the aim of realizing a next-generation mobility society based in Ibaraki, the collaboration between industry, academia and government will form the basis for regional development and the creation of new technology.

About Ibaraki University

Ibaraki University is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, facing the Pacific Ocean to the east and bordering the Tokyo metropolitan area to the south. Ibaraki University engages in education and research across Colleges of Humanities, Education, Science, Engineering, and Agriculture, and in regional cooperation activities. Ibaraki University is active in industry-university cooperation initiatives for the industrial technology centering on Hitachi City, the birthplace of Hitachi, Ltd.

About Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd.

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 management systems, electric power train systems, drive control systems and car information systems. For more information, please visit the company's website at

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