Toyota set to launch pilot project to test autonomous vehicle transportation system
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation will be launching a pilot project next year, for testing a transportation system focused on autonomous vehicles. The pilot project will enable Toyota to test whether self-driving vehicle technologies will be feasible in regular traffic conditions.
The autonomous vehicle transportation system will be tested by Toyota for the period between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2022.
For running the experimental transportation system, Toyota will partner with the University of Tsukuba and the government of the city, which is located to the north of Tokyo. In addition, talks related to participation in the pilot project are being carried out with Toyota by companies like NEC and Mitsubishi Electric, which are associated with self-driving technologies.
The pilot project to be launched by Toyota and partners will mark the first-of-its-kind initiative in Japan, because it will involve the testing of autonomous vehicles in a real-life setting over a wide area. For the project, self-driving, single-seat electric vehicles will take people living in central Tsukuba area and around the university to nearby bus stops, where they will be able to switch to autonomous, fuel-cell powered buses.
The autonomous, fuel-cell buses will run on certain designated routes within the Tsukuba city, and will also make long-distance trips to the Tokyo Station, the Narita Airport and other destinations.
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