Following a previous announcement that it tied up with a US-based autonomous vehicle technology leader May Mobility, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) revealed it began conducting autonomous driving field tests in Tokyo in January 2023. In anticipation of Japan’s legalization of Level 4 autonomous driving in April 2023, the trials are focusing on driving route designs, AI remote monitoring and other tasks necessary to achieve fully automated autonomous driving services.
Starting in April, Level 4 autonomous driving vehicles will be allowed to operate on Japan’s public roads without drivers under a specified set of conditions. While there are high expectations for autonomous driving applications to solve Japan’s driver shortage issue and reduce traffic accidents, autonomous driving services face a number of challenges, including the development of required systems and functions, as well as the costs related to implementation and maintenance.
To address these issues and realize the early implementation of fully automated driving services in Japan, SoftBank is using its trials to verify AI remote monitoring systems, in-vehicle operation support systems, automated route planning and more.
The autonomous driving operation system utilized for the field tests is being provided by SoftBank’s partner May Mobility. Safety management for this autonomous driving field test is being conducted in collaboration with MONET Technologies, a SoftBank Corp. group company that was established in 2018 with Toyota Motor Corporation.
More details can be found in the press release.
Learn more about SoftBank Corp.’s autonomous driving research, and its other research activities at the Research Institute of Advanced Technology’s new website.
(Posted on March 14, 2023)
by SoftBank News Editors