Jiji PressICHINOMIYA, Aichi (Jiji Press) — The Aichi prefectural government conducted on Saturday a public road test in which two driverless vehicles were controlled remotely at the same time using a radio station for the fifth-generation, or 5G, mobile communications technology.
According to the prefecture, this was the first remotely controlled driverless vehicle test on a public road using the 5G network in Japan.
The 5G system, which enables transmissions of larger-volume data than the existing 4G network, allows vehicles to travel safely at higher speeds, prefectural officials said.
Two Toyota Motors Corp. Estima minivans — one compatible with the 5G network and the other operated on the 4G network—were used in Saturday’s test, held in the city of Ichinomiya and observed by Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura.
Images from cameras placed inside the driverless vehicles were remotely monitored. The 4G vehicle traveled about one kilometer at a speed of 28 kilometers per hour, and the 5G vehicle 200 meters at 30 kph.
Omura, who took a test ride, said that the car accelerated very smoothly.
“I really felt that we’ve taken a step closer to the commercialization” of autonomous vehicles, he added.
The Aichi prefectural government, which has been actively working on autonomous vehicle tests, plans to conduct a similar test shortly in the city of Tokoname, where Chubu Centrair International Airport is located.Speech