Hitachi to Test 'Level 2' Autonomous Driving Technology

2016/02/16 10:12
Takashi Takada
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Hitachi Automotive Systems disclosed the test vehicle for the Level 2 autonomous driving in November 2015

Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd will start a demonstration test of its autonomous driving technology on Hitachinaka Road (Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture) Feb 22, 2016.

The autonomous driving to be tested is equivalent to "Level 2" in terms of standards set by a national project. The test is scheduled to end Feb 26, 2016.

The Level 2 autonomous driving is a state in which a vehicle autonomously carries out multiple operations including acceleration, deceleration and steering. Hitachi Automotive Systems expects that the technology will be commercialized for use on expressways, etc.

On the inner side of the test vehicle's windshield, a stereo camera developed by the company is mounted to monitor the situation in front of the car. On the two corners of the front bumper, a total of four milliwave radar devices supporting the 24GHz frequency band are installed.

Moreover, a total of four monocular cameras developed by Clarion Co Ltd, which is affiliated with the Hitachi group, are attached to the front grille, rear bumper and right and left door mirrors. With this sensor system, all the directions around the vehicle are monitored.

In the demonstration test, the vehicle will run on a single lane and switch lanes by combining the sensor system and high-accuracy map data. In the former situation, the vehicle will automatically follow a preceding vehicle while detecting cars around the test vehicle with the sensor system. In the latter situation, it will automatically switch to a passing lane after confirming that there is no vehicle on it.

The demonstration test will be conducted as part of the "Ibaraki Project for Promoting Verification of Near-future Technologies (Robot Demonstration Test)" of Ibaraki Prefecture. Hitachi Automotive Systems plans to collect a large amount of data by changing driving conditions such as weather, time and sunshine conditions.