Yamaha begin trial of autonomous vehicles

Yamaha has announced that it is to begin testing low speed autonomous vehicles in Iwata City

Yamaha begin trial of autonomous vehicles

YAMAHA is to begin testing its own brand of autonomous vehicles this week in the city where their headquarters are based, Iwata City.

The test, which will start next month, has two main objectives - functional evaluation of and ascertaining issues with autonomous driving systems, and secondly, consideration of the driving environment working toward rollout of low-speed autonomous driving vehicles.

Yamaha are no stranger to wanted to take the human element out of some journeys, their Motobot concept has proven that a brain, bones and flash aren’t the only way yo can ride a motorcycle on track. But is this new move a genuine look at developing future technologies, or just a flashy way to move board of directors around the sprawling Yamaha campus?

Yoshihiro Hidaka, President and Representative Director of Yamaha Motor said:
"I would like to take the opportunity with the commencement of this evaluation trial to thank the local residents of Iwata City and everyone concerned with this initiative, who have given us invaluable support. This initiative forms part of "ART for Human Possibilities, Rethinking Solutions," one of the Company's medium- to long-term growth strategies. By offering land cars which move at a gentle pace - and which are capable of autonomous driving - as a last-mile mobility solution, we aim to expand the possibilities of low-speed mobility, and also contribute to addressing a variety of transport-related issues which are becoming apparent, such as maintaining public transportation in mountainous and depopulated regions and the advancing aging of drivers."

Mr. Osamu Watanabe, Mayor of Iwata City – which has socially and economically benefitted from Yamaha’s presence for many years, said:
"With the onset of the decreasing birthrate, aging population, and declining population overall, it is predicted that the operational environment for public transportation - a key part of community mobility - will become even more adverse. Given these trends, we are very pleased that this evaluation trial of low-speed autonomous driving vehicles is beginning in Iwata City, as this technology is anticipated to create a new form of public transportation. We hope that this trial will establish the feasibility of low-speed autonomous driving technology, and thus play a role in resolving community public transportation issues and increasing resident convenience in daily life."

Overview of Trial

  • Trial period: Two years from July 2019
  • Trial location: Around Mikuriya Station (planned for opening) Iwata city, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Distance to be traveled: Maximum of 4.2 km
  • Trial vehicles: Electric small and low-speed PPMs (Public Personal Mobility) - public road specification land cars

Kawasaki Ninja ZX10RR vs Ducati Panigale V4S