Japan’s largest airline is trialling driverless buses in “real-life” scenarios with the view of using them as transit vehicles.
If the autonomous, electric buses pass the “highest-performance standard” of the tests, they will be employed by All Nippon Airways (Ana) at Haneda International airport.
The test bus will drive the same 1.1 mile segment of restricted area in Haneda airport multiple times throughout 10 days.
“Ana is committed to actively embracing the most innovative technology to improve all aspects of the passenger travel experience,” said Shinzo Shimizu, senior executive vice president of Ana.
“Once fully implemented, the autonomous electric bus will allow us to provide a more convenient transit experience for our passengers while also improving efficiency for our airport staff.”
He said it will also help Ana to be more eco-friendly.
The tests, which initially started in 2018, are being conducted in collaboration with SoftBank’s subsidiary SB Drive, Advanced Smart Mobility and BYD.
SB Drive creates ’dispatcher’ technology to monitor obstacles and potential hazards for driverless vehicles.