Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced the second phase of its testing for an autonomous, driverless bus at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
ANA is working towards implementing autonomous driving technology in cooperation with Aichi Steel, SB Drive Corp, Advanced Smart Mobility Co Ltd, NIPPO CORPORATION, and NEC Corporation. To bring ANA’s vision to fruition, these companies will begin testing the bus in a series of trials through 25 January. The trials will be limited to the restricted area of Haneda Airport, where aircraft and cargo vehicles are located.
“Constantly striving to move the industry forward”
“At ANA, we are constantly striving to move the industry forward,” said Shigeru Hattori, senior vice president of ANA.
“This autonomous bus will help ease the flow of traffic in the airport and help enhance the travelling experience for passengers. In addition to boosting convenience, the autonomous bus will also allow for safer travel within the airport and we will continue the tests until the technology reaches our high safety grade.”
Trackers and sensors
The autonomous bus works with the help of magnetic trackers embedded into the ground. These will help guide the bus along its route, while onboard sensors allow the bus to follow these tracks, enabling it to move even without GPS signals.
ANA’s president, Shinya Katanozaka, added: “The speed limit for vehicles at the airport is 30 kph (18.6 mph) so the airport is an ideal place for using autonomous driving technology.”
ANA plans to put the buses to practical use at the airport from 2020 and beyond.