ITS 2013: Toyota & Honda demonstrate autonomous driving (video included)

Japanese car makers accelerate development of autonomous driving technology



Honda's autonomous driving demonstration
(Filmed by MarkLines)
The 20th ITS World Congress Tokyo 2013 was held from October 14 to 18, 2013. Exclusive attention was paid to the exhibitions relating to what has been called “autonomous driving.” Toyota demonstrated autonomous driving on highways with a vehicle featuring the company’s driver assistance system consisting of the radar cruise control which uses Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication and its newly-developed Lane Trace Control. Honda demonstrated autonomous driving and automatic parking systems. The company demonstrated that autonomous driving is possible with affordable in-vehicle devices if the system collaborates well with the ITS infrastructure. Nissan exhibited an experimental autonomous driving vehicle based on theLeaf EV. Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI:Subaru) exhibited the details of the next generation “EyeSight” advanced driver  assistance  system (expected to be released in 2014). The representatives of several Japanese automakers we interviewed unanimously insisted “the necessity for detailed map information” to realize “autonomous driving.”

Related Reports:
ITS World Congress 2013: Autonomous driving technology beyond reality? (Nov. 2013)
ITS: improving transport systems for the future mobility society (May 2013)

Toyota demonstrates driver assistance system on public highways

 Toyota exhibited a wide variety of systems ranging from the cooperative ITS, the next-generation urban transport system, the next-generation telematics, and energy management at the largest booth at the site. Special attention was paid to Toyota's autonomous driving technologies named the Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) system. The company also conducted public road demonstration on the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway.

 Toyota aims to "support safety driving so that all drivers may exert driving capability under various conditions like a skilled driver." To this end, Toyota pursues study on the autonomous driving technologies to put the Automated Highway Driving Assist into practical use. Toyota does not aim at "complete"driverless autonomous driving.


Demonstration vehicle mounted with the Toyota's Automated Highway Driving Assist
Demonstration vehicle mounted with the Toyota's
Automated Highway Driving Assist
Appearance inside the vehicle
Inside the vehicle


Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA)

AHDA  The next-generation driver assistance system developed by Toyota. This system controls acceleration/deceleration and steering in all vehicle speed ranges. Toyota aims to market the system in the middle of 2010s. This system consists of the Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control and the Lane Trace Control.
Cooperative Adaptive
Cruise Control
 This system combines the conventional millimeter-wave radar cruise control with vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology (760 MHz). The C-ACC enables a vehicle to follow the proceeding vehicle steadily by activating nearly simultaneous acceleration and deceleration with the vehicle in front. This is possible because the acceleration and braking information of the preceding vehicle is obtained through the vehicle-to-vehicle communication. The system controls the inter-vehicle distance minutely, and reduces the frequency of acceleration and deceleration in comparison  with conventional cruise control. Thus, the system contributes to improving fuel efficiency and relieving traffic congestion.
Lane Trace Control
 This system calculates and sets the cruising line in advance by using high-performance cameras, millimeter-wave radar and control software. It then automatically controls the steering angle, driving torque, and braking force at all speeds so that the vehicle may travel along the cruising line. The LTC is capable of more advanced lane-keeping assisting functions in sharp curves and at traveling at speeds of 65 km/h or lower in comparison with the conventional Lane Keeping Assist System.
Demonstration on the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway  Toyota held a demonstration on the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway using a car mounted with the AHDA (see the photo for the course). After activation of the LTC on the expressway, the vehicle traveled automatically with almost no steering, acceleration, and braking operations by the driver. The vehicle managed to turn sharp curves by slowing down beforehand. Lane changes should be operated by the driver.
 During the operation of the C-ACC with a vehicle in front, the inter-vehicle distance was controlled within a range of 1 meter to 2 meters by assessing the driving torque and braking force of the preceding vehicle. When the preceding vehicle braked suddenly, the vehicle in behind braked almost simultaneously.
 One of the technological issues for commercialization is the lack of a detailed map with the curvature of expressway curves. While the LTC system itself can read road conditions only up to 50 meters ahead, the awareness of the human driver stretches up to 200 meters ahead. The LTC system allows the vehicle to travel automatically by acquiring information on the road condition from 51 to 200 meters with map data. In a recent demonstration, the distance gap was covered by using a detailed map of the course which was prepared beforehand. According to a Toyota engineer, Other issues include legal issues, driver's distraction, and provision of merits to the preceding vehicles.


Course of Toyota's Demonstration on Automated Highway Driving Assist
Course of Toyota's Demonstration on
Automated Highway Driving Assist


Cooperative ITS

Vehicle-to-infrastructure cooperative system  This service provides information for oncoming cars on the opposite lane and crossing pedestrians that are difficult for a driver  to catch when a vehicle turns right.  These information are obtained through the road-side infrastructure. This system assists drivers based on traffic light information to encourage them to drive safely and efficiently.
Vehicle-to-pedestrian Communication System  The vehicle communicates with terminals which are carried by pedestrians when they face dangerous circumstances.
Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication System  This system permits mutual communication between vehicles to exchange information about their locations and speed. The system enables a driver to detect approaching vehicles at intersections with bad visibility and also to detect approaching emergency vehicles and construction vehicles.


700 MHz band on-board equipment (prototype) by Denso
700 MHz band on-board equipment prototype (by Denso)
Laser radar type vehicle/pedestrian detection sensor (IHI)
Laser radar type vehicle/pedestrian detection sensor (by IHI)
Camera type vehicle detection sensor (Sumitomo Electric Industries)
Camera type vehicle detection sensor
(by Sumitomo Electric Industries)
Millimeter-wave radar type vehicle detection sensor (Fujitsu)
Millimeter-wave radar type vehicle detection sensor (by Fujitsu)
700 MHz band radio antenna (Sumitomo Electric Industries)
700 MHz band radio antenna (by Sumitomo Electric Industries)
700 MHz band pedestrian terminal (prototype) by Panasonic
700 MHz band pedestrian terminal prototype (by Panasonic)
700 MHz band film antenna (Yokowo)
700 MHz band film antenna (by Yokowo)


Next-generation urban transport system Ha:mo

Ha:mo  Ha:mo is a new experimental transport system currently being demonstrated by Toyota in Toyota City. It combines private means of transportation, such as vehicles and bicycles, and public transportation systems. The information service system, Ha:mo NAVI, informs users of the optimum means of transfer to their destinations with multiple means of transportation combined. The Ha:mo RIDE mentioned below also plays a role in the system.
Ha:mo RIDE  Ha:mo RIDE is a small EV-sharing service intended for intra-city short distance transfer. The service scale was expanded in October 2013. The number of COMS made by Toyota Auto Body,  and electrically power assisted bicycles made by Yamaha Motor increased from 10 units to 100 units, respectively. At the same time, the service became a paid service and Toyota is considering optimum prices toward commercialization. In Japan, Toyota aims to  introduce the service into major local cities with a population of 500,000. Toyota also plans to start a similar experiment at the end of 2014 in Grenoble, France.
i-ROAD  i-ROAD is a two-seater three-wheeled electric vehicle concept premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013. It is 2,350 mm in length. The cruising range target is a 50-km at a constant speed of 30 km/h. This vehicle can be automatically inclined when turning. It is developed as a one-seater vehicle for the Japanese market. It is expected to be included for the Ha:mo RIDE service in 2014.


i-ROAD: A three-wheeled EV concept. It is developed
as a one-seater vehicle for the Japanese market.



Honda demonstrates Cooperative Autonomous Driving and Automatic Valet Parking

 Honda demonstrated two infrastructure cooperative autonomous driving technologies. One of them was driving demonstration by an autonomous driving car around a special course set up in the parking area. The vehicle, modeled based on Accord Hybrid, automatically ran the course using a stereo camera and GPS (please see a video shot from inside the vehicle at "Summary"). The vehicle interacted with an electric cart and a motorcycle through communication. In addition, Honda exhibited a parking assistance system,"automatic valet parking," which consists of cameras installed at the parking area and a low-cost in-vehicle system.


An autonomous driving car based on Accord Hybrid
An autonomous driving car based on the Accord Hybrid
The autonomous driving car automatically stops by interacting with an electric cart (Monpal) hidden behind an obstacle
The autonomous driving car automatically stops
by interacting with an electric cart (Monpal)
hidden behind an obstacle


Cooperative autonomous driving technology

 An autonomous driving car developed based on the Accord Hybrid made a demonstration driving at a special course set up in the parking area of the venue. The driving course was installed on the vehicle memory based on the GPS data.
 The autonomous driving car is equipped with a stereo camera, two units of millimeter-wave radars on both sides of the rear bumper, two GPS antennas for car navigation, a GPS receiver for signals transmitted from fixed relay stations, and a Wifi receiver. Several computers to control data are mounted on the trunk.
Stereo camera  The forward-looking stereo camera detects a pedestrian who is about to walk across a crossing to allow the vehicle to stop automatically. It also detects the direction of the person's body and judges whether the pedestrian intends to go across the crosswalk.
 The stereo camera identifies the vehicle position by recognizing white lines and road edges. It enables autonomous driving even on narrow roads.
Wi-Fi-based vehicle-to-vehicle communication  This system prevents traffic accidents at intersectionswith bad visibility by allowing the exchange of information between an electric cart and a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
DSRC-based vehicle-to-vehicle communication  This vehicle-to-vehicle communication system uses wireless technology, DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications), that is faster with more outreaching area than Wi-Fi. In the demonstration, it was mounted on a motorcycle.
LED signal lamp  LED-made lamps were equipped on the windshield, the rear seat doors, and the rear window to notify the conditions of a vehicle to pedestrians and other vehicles near the vehicle. The demonstration car lights green when no risk has been detected, lights yellow when the sensor has detected a risk and lights white when the wireless system has detected a risk. According to a engineer from Honda, the LED signal lamps are regarded satisfactory if they can notify whether the vehicle intends to stop or not, to the other vehicles and pedestrians nearby. Standard colors to be used are under discussion among automakers.


Layout of the Honda's Cooperative Autonomous Driving Demonstration Course
Layout of the Honda's Cooperative Autonomous
Driving Demonstration Course


Automatic valet parking technology

 This system automatically parks a vehicle stopped at the entrance to an empty parking space. This system consists of minimum additional devices: cameras installed at the four corners of the parking area, a rear view camera mounted on the vehicle, a wheel rotation speed sensor, and a communication device to interact with the computer on the parking side. The parking computer calculates the vehicle direction and the ECU on the car calculates the driving operations. To realize practical use, an issue remains as to how the vehicle "key" should be handed over to the parking system, namely how the right to remotely control the vehicle should be granted.
 Two Fit EVs demonstrated transverse parking and parallel parking. The two vehicles showed how they move in a coordinated manner when their routes overlap and when an obstacle suddenly enters the parking area.


Honda's demonstration of automated valet parking
(with audio narration)
(Filmed by MarkLines)
When an obstacle (ball) enters the parking area from the right side of the scene, the moving vehicles automatically stop.
When an obstacle (ball) enters the parking area
from the right side of the scene,
the moving vehicles automatically stop.



Nissan exhibits a Leaf-based autonomous driving experimental vehicle

Leaf-based autonomous driving experimental vehicle
Leaf-based autonomous driving experimental vehicle

 In August 2013, Nissan Motor announced its goal to introduce autonomous driving technology on several models by 2020. Nissan also plans to introduce the technology into the all model lineup after 2020 via two generation model cycles.

 A test course for autonomous driving vehicles is under construction at its Oppama Plant in Japan which will be completed at the end of FY2014.

Leaf-base autonomous driving experimental vehicle

 Nissan developed an autonomous driving vehicle based on the Leaf EV. The car is has been tested on public roads in Nevada, USA. The vehicle has 10 autonomous driving functions as listed below: (1) automatic expressway merging, (2) automatic overtaking of a slow vehicle, (3) emergency automatic steering, (4) passing narrow sections, (5) highway exit & stop at signals, (6) detection of signs & temporary stop, (7) emergency stop on the road edge, (8) passing of a vehicle standing on the road edge, (9) passing of intersections, (10) remote parking.
 The exhibited experimental vehicle was mounted with five cameras (one each at the back mirror, front grille, left and right door mirrors, and rear gate), five laser scanners (two at the front bumper, one each at left and right rear fenders, and one at the rear bumper). The forward cameras recognize lines and the laser scanners obstacles.
 An autonomous driving vehicle will drive automatically from the present position to the destination on the map of the navigation system. The automatic parking system at the parking area will be enabled by registering the entrance and frame borders of the parking area on the navigation map. On an expressway, the vehicle will travel automatically without map data. In order to make possible an autonomous driving vehicle, such issues need to be solved as acquisition of detailed map information, regulations, and costs.



FHI: Exhibits next-generation EyeSight and autonomous driving roadmap


Video of the next-generation EyeSight test
(Filmed by MarkLines)

 In October 2013, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) announced it had developed the next-generation EyeSight, advanced driving assist system. The new system will be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show held in November 2013. The new features will be adopted from the new model LEVORG to be launched in Japan starting in 2014 and in other new models successively. FHI also exhibited its autonomous driving road map toward the upgrading of EyeSight. The company does not intend to develop a driverless vehicle or completely autonomous driving vehicle but will develop only driver support systems.

Next-generation EyeSight

Enhanced cruise
control function
 The new driver assistance system has a stereo camera with color recognition, detection angle improved from 25 degrees to 40 degrees, and a detection range extended by approximately 40%. The color recognition allows the camera to recognize brake lights of another car in front and activate faster deceleration on the cruise control. It recognizes red signals but this function is not used at present. The number of pixels was improved from 300,000 pixels to 1.2 million pixels to enhance the pedestrian detection accuracy in particular.
Lane Keeping Assist  Addition of a steering assist control function has enabled the lane keeping and lane departure prevention functions. when EyeSight system recognizes the lines on both sides of the lane at speeds above approximately 65 km/h, the activated Adaptive Cruise Control will automatically steer the car to keep it in the center of the lane. Lane Keeping Assist will be turned off if EyeSight judges that the driver is not steering the vehicle.
 If the vehicle is straying from the lines, EyeSight will alert the lane departure by sound and steer the wheel to move the vehicle back to the center of the lane and prevents lane deviation (lane departure prevention function).
Enhanced pre-crash braking function  The collision avoidance condition of the pre-crash braking control has been increased from approximately 30 km/h to 50 km/h.
Pre-Collision Reverse Throttle Management  If sudden accelerator input or speedup is recognized while the vehicle is rolling backward, the system will suppress the power of the engine while alerting by sound. These conditions will be assessed from the degree of the accelerator opening and vehicle speed without using sensors such as cameras.
Hazard Avoidance Assist  If the system determines that collision with another vehicle or obstacle in front of the vehicle is highly probable, the VDC (an ESC named by FHI) will assist the driver in steering to avoid the collision by applying breaks on the inner wheels to the turning direction of the vehicle.


Autonomous driving road map

1999 2010 2014 202X
Model ADA EyeSight(ver.2) Next-generation EyeSight Future EyeSight
Function * Vehicle Distance Warning
* Lane Departure Warning
* Adaptive cruise control
* Pre-Collision
  Braking Control
* Lane Departure Warning
* Full-speed range
  adaptive cruise control
* Steering assist control
* Pre-Collision
  Braking Control
* Full-speed range
  adaptive cruise control
* Autonomous driving
  on expressways
* All-around collision
  avoidance assist

Source: Prepared based on materials distributed at the Fuji Heavy Industries ITS World Congress

Future EyeSight  FHI aims to enable limited autonomous driving on expressways for the EyeSight model in two to three generations. In addition to the stereo camera for forward recognition, the company plans to enable all-around collision avoidance assist with sensors equipped for 360-degree recognition. Cost and function will be considered in the future regarding which type of sensors will be adopted.



Exhibition by Mazda, MMC, and Suzuki

Mazda Atenza ASV-5

 The Atenza ASV-5 is Mazda's experimental vehicle participating in the national ASV-5 project (Note 1). Mazda added the Atenza mounted with Mazda's safety equipment i-ACTIVSENSE, with two quasi-millimeter-wave radars in the front sides, a camera at the side mirror on the driver's side, and an optical beacon antenna. Equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems, the vehicle is capable of C-ACC and a function to avoid collision at intersections. On this Atenza, the information obtained from the communication systems are shown on the heads-up display (Note 2).
 The Atenza ASV-5 is equipped with the Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication System to interact with streetcars that travel on the same road space. A demonstration experiment was conducted in Hiroshima City at the post congress tour of the ITS World Congress.
(Note) 1. The ASV-5 refers to the fifth stage (FY2011 - FY2015) of the national "ASV (Advanced Safety Vehicle)" promotion project under the leadership of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The project is joined by Japanese automobile and motorcycle makers.
2. In ASV-5, the vehicle part to display the information obtained from communication systems is left to the discretion of the automakers.


Mazda Atenza ASV-5
Mazda Atenza ASV-5


Mitsubishi Motors

Driver Receptivity Evaluation of the driver assistance system  Mitsubishi Motors Corporation(MMC) evaluated the driver receptivity/good support timing of the driver assistance system based on the vehicle-to-vehicle communication in a realtime driving situation. The result reportedly shows that driver receptivity is improved by driver habituation.
 The highly receptive assistance timing was measured by a system notifying the approach of another vehicle crossing at an intersection. The measurement was conducted in two cases, viz. where the crossing vehicle is visible and where it is not visible. In a case when a crossing vehicle is not visible, assistance at later timing is more acceptable than in cases when the crossing vehicle is visible.
Evaluation of HMI Proposals for the driver assistance system  MMC investigated the optimum place in a vehicle to display the alarm (without voice)of a driver assistance system based on the vehicle-to-vehicle and pedestrian-to-vehicle communication system. The company reported that it is most effective to display the alarm with lamps placed on the dashboard.


Driver Receptivity Evaluation of Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Driving Support System
Driver Receptivity Evaluation of Vehicle-to-Vehicle
Communication Driving Support System
Evaluation of HMI Proposals for V2X Communication Systems
Evaluation of HMI Proposals for
V2X Communication Systems



WAGON R ASV5  WAGON R ASV5 is an experimental vehicle based on the WAGON R that participates in the ASV5 project. It is mounted with a system consisting of the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian communication system, the GPS, the information processing unit, and the HMI (Human Machine Interface) unit.
Development of the iris position detection technology  Suzuki is developing a technology to track and detect the position and movement of the iris. This technology is intended to detect drowsiness, glancing around (gazing), and alertness of a driver. This technology detects these conditions at high speeds and with a high degree of accuracy using a genetic algorithm by modeling the iris area in the face image. The technology is under development in a joint study with the Akaishi laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering, Iwate University.


Iris position detection technology explanation panel
Iris position detection technology explanation panel

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