Test-ride of an automated minibus with no steering wheel conducted!

Fukuoka Smart East is a project that aims to solve a variety of social issues and create a sustainable and comfortable city. We have been conducting demonstrative experiment in a variety of fields, and this year we will continue to promote demonstrative experiment with innovative companies.
In particular, the mobility field, which holds the key to social issues in public transportation, is an essential issue to be considered in the concept of a smart city. This time, with the aim of solving public transportation issues through automated driving, we conducted a demonstrative experiment using the NAVYA ARMA, an automated small bus without a steering wheel.

NAVYA ARMA, the world's most traveled self-driving small bus without a steering wheel

In recent years, the shortage of bus drivers, the increase in the number of discontinued routes, and the management difficulties of bus companies have been cited as social issues in public transportation nationwide. In particular, the elderly are often unable to move freely, and this is a social issue that will become increasingly problematic in the future. This is why there is a growing need for means of transportation that utilize innovative technologies.

In order to solve these social issues, Fukuoka Smart East conducted a community bus demonstrative experiment in November 2019, this time using the NAVYA ARMA, the world's most proven automated bus.

The NAVYA ARMA detects the positional coordinates of the vehicle using GPS and sensors, and automatically controls the vehicle along a predetermined route. The purpose of this demonstrative experiment is to verify the safety and functionality of the mobility system, as well as to find out what kind of driving issues need to be addressed in order to promote urban development in Hakozaki.

We held a test ride at Kaizuka Park!

This time, a test drive was conducted in Kaizuka Park with a driver in the car. Local residents were invited to participate as test-drive monitors, giving them a chance to actually experience the most advanced automated driving technology.

▼ Test-ride event  
Period:  Saturday, March 27, 2021, 14:30 - 16:00 
  March 28, 2021, 10:00 - 16:00 (No service during 12:00 - 13:00)​​​
Place:  Special course in Kaizuka Park
Running distance: Approx. 400m
Running time:  About 5 minutes
Capacity: 4 people (including 1 driver)

The vehicles were also displayed at Kyushu Plaza in Fukuoka City Hall. The test ride filmed at Kaizuka Park was shown on a monitor installed next to the vehicle, and people enjoyed riding and taking pictures of the vehicle on display.

▼ Method of Exhibition  
Period:  Monday, March 29, 2021 and Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Place:  Kyushu Plaza, Fukuoka City Hall
Content:  Video footage and commentary filmed during the test ride will be shown on a monitor installed next to the vehicle.

Toward a society where people can move safely and freel

Fukuoka Smart East aims to create a model city that can be proud of in the future, where people can develop sustainably while solving various social issues. We plan to continue conducting demonstrative experiment in various fields in the Hakozaki area. We will continue to take on the challenge of realizing a "new urban development" that solves social issues with innovation and cutting-edge technological capabilities, making Fukuoka a more comfortable and livable city.