Toward New Developments for ITS

Photo:Makoto Otsuki Senior Vice President ITS Japan

Makoto Otsuki
Senior Vice President
ITS Japan

In my work for ITS Japan, I am involved in making suggestions to government ministries for the building of business environments to open the way to intelligent transport systems (ITS) in Japan, while also involved in various projects for the actual building of ITS business infrastructure.
Electric vehicles, autonomous driving, massive cloud services and other discontinuous innovations are occurring in parallel throughout the world now. ITS is also on the verge of major changes.
The problems of an aging society in Japan are set to become overtly apparent from 2025, when the baby boomers reach the age of 75. A roadmap for dramatic action is needed before this time comes.
It is undeniable that the ability of the elderly to continue driving will eventually decline, but instead of simply hoping that new cars might be developed to make up for this, we need to consider the nature of our social environment and living spaces.

The problem of securing mobility for the elderly is an increasingly pressing problem, not just in mountainous areas with decreasing population but also in areas around major cities and in residential suburbs of major cities.
ITS has focused on the issues of achieving safe, congestion- and accident-free transportation that is at the same time environmentally friendly. These are primarily issues facing major cities.
But transportation is a phenomenon occurring as a result of human movement and logistics. Transportation issues derive from the concentration of needs for movement and logistics. So the real way to solve transportation problems is to find an approach that decentralizes movement and logistics needs.
The only ways to deal with urban transportation issues are clear: to take on board evolving technological means and to dramatically transform existing systems.
But in the case of provincial cities, towns, and villages, extreme congestion does not occur. There is less demand for movement and logistics, so the question is how to maintain these as a small business concern.
If these minor needs can be concentrated to form a business, this model could function anywhere in the world. In order to realize this, mobility and logistics need to adopt an integrated approach, mirroring Amazon's focus on building business to meet demand for the long tail.
Autonomous driving and other technologies will be needed to achieve it, as well as sharing services like Uber and Airbnb where requests are directly answered via smartphones or other personal devices. Extending out similar services to those started in Finland as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) may also offer a solution.
Put another way, the focus on macro-services in large cities that leads to the inability to achieve micro-services for the last mile matching the needs of individuals, is the same as the failure to meet the needs of individuals (micro-services) in provincial areas.
Bringing innovation to working styles will have a major effect on achieving services like this. While some cities cannot handle the same services alone, other local governments don't have enough work for a full day. As Director Fujiyama of the Research Institute for a Sustainable Community put it, "One person's work is made up of various tasks, where 0.5 + 0.3 + 0.2 = 1.0." In the same way, the necessity here is to set up a system that functions independent of the regions.
We need a style to build a sustainable society ably combining people, things, and information.

This combination of needs is an essential approach to areas with smaller demand like provincial cities, and must also be applied to situations such as the last mile in major cities.
We have to take a look at our own mobility, to consider rethinking what we intend to do in the future. Take a high-order approach looking at new lifestyles, community planning, and mobility, and the means and technologies to achieve these, in order to reassess your daily development of products and services.

By integrated mobility services to ensure safe, secure, and livable society for everyone.

Integrated Mobility Service : By integrated mobility services to ensure safe, secure, and livable society for everyone.

【 Integrated Mobility Service 】

Road Traffic Control Infrastructure Looking Ahead to the Self-Driving Age and C-ITS Utilization

Hironao Kawashima Professor Emeritus Mobility Culture Research Center Keio University

Hironao Kawashima
Professor Emeritus
Mobility Culture Research Center
Keio University

In Europe, the practical application of C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems) will start in 2019 and in the United States, a part of C-ITS service is expected to be legislated during the fiscal year 2018. In Japan, the ETC2.0 and DSSS (Driving Safety Support Systems), which are partly similar to C-ITS, have already been put to practical use. Most notably, the number of cars using ETC2.0 is now close to 3 million (as of the end of January 2018).

In Europe, it is worth noting that the step for practical application will be taken after the formulation of regulations concerning the protection of personal information during the collection of probe data*1. Meanwhile, in Japan, the protection of personal information during the collection of probe data has not really become a subject of debate. The reason is that ETC2.0 has one effective feature. While the details can be found in the written specifications*2 and other related documents, hear I will give an outline.

In the case of ETC2.0, probe data is not recorded in the on-board unit for approximately 500 m from the point of departure and all stored data from approximately 500 m before reaching the destination is erased. Further, by issuing an ID using random numbers, ID-attached data from up to approximately 80 km upstream of the roadside unit can be transmitted to this unit. This feature enables the tracking of vehicle behavior while erasing personal information.

"The Levels of Driving Automation" proposed by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) International was revised in 2016 and the concept of ODD (Operational Design Domain) was introduced. In short, this is to define the driving environmental constraints for the self-driving. In order to determine the constraints, various elements should be combined such as weather condition, road category, road condition, and related regulations. Further discussion is expected in the future before the details are finalized. The first country to respond to this concept seems to be the Netherlands, which introduced the world's first minicomputer system to control lane-by-lane speed limits. Having had a strong interest in C-ITS, while reducing investments for hard infrastructure, the Netherlands is trying to implement C-ITS as a tool for their road traffic control system.

Based on the idea of the Netherlands, I illustrated the relationship between the ETC2.0 probe data system and ODD. The point is that by making use of a feature like the ETC2.0 probe data system, it is possible to keep track of a vehicle’s trajectory within the ODD range without infringing personal information protection laws. Consequently, a self-driving system with ETC2.0 makes it possible to record the trajectory of a self-driving car and confirm the vehicle behavior in the traffic flow within ODD. This is very important for road traffic control purposes and also to form a public consensus on self-driving systems.

Unfortunately, the advantage of the ETC2.0 probe data system is not recognized internationally due to a lack of publicity from Japan. This technology can be used independently of the frequency and protocol of communication equipment. By combining it with the concept of ODD, the concept of public probe data for road traffic control will become clearer. Design parameters like 500m and 80km and which media to use can be decided according to the circumstances of the corresponding country. Therefore, this technology is basically usable anywhere in the world and can be considered as a prior technology for C-ITS. Moreover, the ETC2.0 probe data system is capable of contributing to the establishment of a road traffic control infrastructure for the self-driving age. I believe it should be widely demonstrated to the world.

*1 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018
*2 Standard specification for DSRC section of ITS On-Board Unit (TT-6002B) by JEITA

The relationship between the ETC2.0 probe data system and ODD

History of Initiatives to Create the ITS Business

Koji Ukena CEO, UK-Consultant (Former Director, ITS Business Development Center, Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd.)

Koji Ukena
CEO, UK-Consultant
(Former Director, ITS Business Development Center, Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd.)

About twenty years ago, Panasonic consolidated ITS road traffic infrastructure, automotive equipment, and digital wireless systems business, and established the ITS Business Development Center, which would create a new road traffic business, within the then Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd.

  1. Creation of the TELEMATICS Business
    Against the backdrop of increasing momentum towards the introduction of electronics technology to the traffic sector, the ITS Business Development Center was established in response to expectations that ITS would be a promising business. Existing business divisions were in charge of the development of car navigation and ETC systems, and the ITS Business Development Center was in charge of the development of infrastructures, including the HELPNET (eCall) and communication navigation systems, as well as the development of a business that crossed the borders of business divisions handling individual terminals. The center started developing TELEMATICS, a new technology that connects people, vehicles and infrastructures through information and communications systems. It promoted the development of mobile phone-based traffic-related information and communications technology targeting the global market while working with staff in EU member nations, including Germany.
  2. Public relations initiatives
    As a board member of the ITS World Congress, I worked for the establishment of globally standardized social systems for roads and traffic. As a Japanese representative, I continued to make recommendations based on the concepts to improve drivers' convenience and safety, along with improving traffic efficiency, and protecting the environment, by linking traffic infrastructure including VICS, which sends traffic jam information, to automotive equipment. Meanwhile, I extended public relations targeting a wide scope of providers of digital maps, which would be a key element.
  3. Construction of an ITS evaluation test facility
    The ITS business required an internal system to simultaneously evaluate road traffic infrastructure facilities and in-vehicle equipment. Accordingly, we completed the construction of a comprehensive ETC system evaluation test facility on the Hanamaki Plant premises in September 1997 to conduct evaluations by running actual cars with in-vehicle ETC terminals installed. The facility became the largest test track operated by Japanese electric appliance or communication equipment manufacturers, which contributed to the creation of ETC systems with high reliability and quality.

The above statement summarizes the initiatives we implemented in the 20th century aiming to create a business at the dawn of ITS. In the 21st century, the ITS business has come into bloom with products including car navigation systems and ETC, and continued to contribute to the development of a safer traffic society around the world as well as that of a driving culture. I still think that we were able to have advantages during the initial stage of ITS through our management system, which enabled the simultaneous launch of infrastructures and in-vehicle terminals while linking these two businesses. As a result, we were able to enter the service business and concurrently release terminals. The company is an unrivaled global ITS company, which will be able to promote businesses that range from road traffic infrastructures to in-vehicle terminals. I am convinced that the company will achieve the creation of a safe and comfortable road traffic society in the future, and continue to contribute to individuals on the move, including the elderly.

Transportation Innovations Achieved by Automated Driving

Prof. Yoshihiro SUDA, Dr. Eng. Director of Advanced Mobility Research Center Institute of Industrial Science The University of Tokyo

Prof. Yoshihiro SUDA, Dr. Eng.
Director of Advanced Mobility Research Center
Institute of Industrial Science
The University of Tokyo

There is always a standard that is loved by users regardless of the era or type of product. Although I don't intend to flaunt my personal preferences, I have a soft spot for novelties and refuse to use any products that do not suit my tastes. This habit tends to determine a standard brand for each product that I use. When I look closely at various pieces of equipment used in my lab at the university or electrical appliances at home, I realize just how many Panasonic products I own.

I have been favoring Let's Note laptops for quite some time, going back to earlier models. I may have gone through more than 10 of them by now. Other such products include digital cameras, TVs, air-conditioners, and rice cookers, amounting to a significant number. Experimental traffic lights installed at the Chiba Experiment Station of the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science in Nishi-Chiba are also Panasonic-made. I believe that Panasonic products are chosen because their novelty and user perspective incorporated in products are well balanced.

I hear that Panasonic, who has been playing an active role in the ITS industry such as with traffic control systems, batteries, and sensors, is finally setting foot in the automated driving system market. They even built a test facility that allows the operation of self-driving vehicles in Yokohama. I visited its test course the other day and thought that, as with Panasonic's former ITS test field located in Hanamaki, it effectively uses the compact space not only to implement test runs but also to conduct V2X and parking tests and trials for linking the system to traffic lights, achieving a good balance of novelty and user perspective. Automakers' test courses are often located in a remote mountain or other secluded areas; however, Panasonic's test course is built adjacent to their research and development site, demonstrating their attitude of valuing a setup that allows the seamless inclusion of user requests.

I believe that automated driving will soon bring about transportation innovations. It is highly likely that the mobility movement to share the use of self-driving vehicles will spread based on conventional models that include manually driven vehicles. I anticipate that this trend will be led by the existing automobile industry, newcomer IT industry, or existing traffic operators. The development of a business ecosystem for automated driving is desired. I look forward to witnessing contributions to such ecosystems by Panasonic who maintains a good balance of novelty and user perspective.

Experimental traffic lights installed at the Chiba Experiment Station of the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science in Nishi-Chiba

Experimental traffic lights installed at the Chiba Experiment Station of the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science in Nishi-Chiba

Panasonic Future ITS

Senior Vice President, Automotive Business, AIS Company, Panasonic Corporation

Masahisa Shibata
Senior Vice President, Automotive Business, AIS Company, Panasonic Corporation

Panasonic is one of a few companies who can provide automotive devices, HMI equipment for drivers and transportation infrastructure.
Panasonic is targeting to realize a better mobility by connecting vehicles and infrastructure utilizing advanced ICT.

For example, Panasonic will enhance capability of sensors mounted on vehicle, and also pursue developing technology to support safety driving by informing notice at very timely manner, which cannot get by sensors on vehicle perfectly but can get by V2X communication between vehicles and road side units.

On June 2016, Panasonic have opened its own driving test course next to YOKOHAMA R&D.
It is mainly for driving test and evaluation at lower speed driving.
From now on we will accelerate verify and evaluate cycle of our developing technology.
Through these action and review, Panasonic will contribute to realize a better society where anyone can transport in convenient and safety.

Please pay attention and expectation to Panasonic.

The driving test course next to YOKOHAMA R&D

The driving test course next to YOKOHAMA R&D