Skip to menu Skip to content
Pilot

Pilot of Automatic BRT operation on Ofunato BRT Line in Japan

Pilot of Automatic BRT operation on Ofunato BRT Line in Japan
Location
Ōfunato, Japan
Date
From to
Length
0.447 km
Project details

What

JR EAST tests the operation of an autonomous bus (BRT) on the BRT dedicated road of the Ofunato BRT line. It is testing features such as lane keeping control, speed control, alternating traffic, etc.

Why

Based on JR East Group Management Vision "Move UP" 2027, they will conduct trial experiments on autonomous BRT system.

Lane keeping control and speed control experiment:

  • An experiment to test the smooth driving of the vehicle on the dedicated road by reading the information of the equipment (magnetic marker) installed on the BRT dedicated road with the high sensitivity magnetic sensor (MI sensor) and pinpointing the vehicle position accurately;
  • Testing of the automatic control of the vehicle's accelerator and brake, while driving at up to 40km/h on the BRT road. The smooth stopping of the BRT at a determined position is also being tested.

Arrival control experiment:

  • The system installed in the BRT reads the magnetic marker information, and the BRT automatically moves it to the station platform and stops it.

Alternate traffic experiment by signal control using radio:

  • By wirelessly exchanging vehicle position information, experiments to alternately drive an autonomous bus and an oncoming vehicle on a BRT road with a width equivalent to one vehicle will be conducted.
Regulatory Framework

© JREast. Pilot of Automatic BRT operation on Ofunato BRT Line in Japan.

Regulatory Framework

There is no regulatory framework for this pilot as there are no passengers and the pilot takes place within BRT line.

Challenges

Some of the challenges encountered include: ・Keeping lane and speed control ・Identifying the vehicle’s position using magnetic markers ・Alternating traffic with signal control using wireless technology ・Dealing with Vehicle Position Measurement with Multi GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System)

© JREast. Pilot of Automatic BRT operation on Ofunato BRT Line in Japan - Route

© JREast. Pilot of Automatic BRT operation on Ofunato BRT Line in Japan - Route

Link to more info

Featured News & Publications

View all updates

Next initiative

Digibus

Location
Willischwandt, Austria
Go to next initiative

Lexicon

7 words explained

platooning

Also known as flocking. A collection of (automated) vehicles that travel together, actively coordinated in formation. Platoons decrease the distances between vehicles using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. Platooning allows many vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.

urban setting

High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.

suburban setting

Medium density environment with a good public transport system with radial connections to the city center, but lower capillarity and frequencies. This setting includes suburban cities.

small cities

Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.

rural

Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.

SAE level

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) levels define the level of vehicle autonomy, or in other words, how much human intervention is still needed for an automated vehicle to operate. Currently, five SAE levels have been defined: Level 0: Automated system issues warnings and may momentarily intervene but has no sustained vehicle control. Level 1 (hands on): Driver and automatic system share vehicle control. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Level 2 (hands off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 3 (eyes off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 4 (mind off): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Level 5 (steering wheel optional): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.

V2X

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.