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Tier IV begins test operation of “last-mile mobility” (LMM) mobility service using fully autonomous EV, moves toward creation of a business model

From the spring of 2019, Tier IV, Inc. (HQ: Nagoya, Aichi Pref.; representative and president: Kazuya Takeda; hereinafter “Tier IV”) will begin test operation of “last-mile mobility” (LMM), a mobility service that uses autonomous cars such as the fully automated four-seat EV “Milee”*1, in Aichi Prefecture. Tier IV will conduct this service in cooperation with Aisan Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Aisan Technology”) and Okaya & Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Okaya”). We will aim for a new business model that comes together with local governments, unlike past business models which have relied on consumers and private businesses to bear costs.

Fully autonomous EV「Milee」

 

Tier IV will provide vehicles, such as the fully autonomous EV Milee, and the mobility service web platform “Web.Auto”*2 for this service.

 

Milee has an electric golf cart as its base and 3D laser scanner (LiDAR) and monocular camera installed as sensors. Powered by Autoware*3, open-source software for fully autonomous driving, it is a vehicle that can recognize its surroundings, make decisions, and operate fully autonomously. It connects to Web.Auto’s web services by mobile transmission such that the service operator can manage its operation.

 

Web.Auto is a web platform designed by Tier IV. It has web service functions necessary for fully autonomous vehicles, such as the management of the dispatch of vehicles, remote operation, 3D map transmission, online learning for AI, management of driving data, and connection to support centers.

Before starting the LMM service, we plan to conduct test operation from late February, 2019 into March using the park management roads at Moricoro Park (Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park) in Nagakute, Aichi Pref. In the latter half of test operation, park visitors will be able to test-ride the vehicles. Using a dedicated app, park visitors will be able to call a Milee within the driving route and move between the temporary bus stops set up for the test operations.

This test operation will use Web.Auto’s vehicle-dispatch management (“Autoware FMS”*4), remote operation (“Autoware Drive”*5), and 3D map transmission (“Autoware Maps”*6) functions. Autoware FMS dispatches autonomous vehicles in response to vehicle dispatch requests sent from the mobile app installed at bus stops and on mobile devices. Autoware Maps works in conjunction with Autoware FMS, conducting the necessary route searches for each autonomous vehicle and transmitting 3D maps. Autoware Drive controls the autonomous cars through mobile transmission from a remote operation room in the event that they become unable to drive themselves.

This is the first mobility service in Japan that uses a Japan-made fully autonomous vehicle and web platform together as a package.

 

 

(*1)「Milee」 is a trademark of Tier IV.

(*2)「Web.Auto」is a trademark of Tier IV.

(*3)「Autoware」is a trademark of the Autoware Foundation.

(*4)「Autoware FMS」is a trademark of Tier IV.

(*5)「Autoware Drive」is a trademark of Tier IV.

(*6)「Autoware Maps」is a trademark of Tier IV.