ANA conducts testing for Autonomous Electric Bus
All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest and 5-Star airline for seven consecutive years, will conduct trials for an autonomous electric bus in collaboration with SoftBank Corp. subsidiary SB Drive Corp., Advanced Smart Mobility and BYD at Haneda International Airport (HND). The trial will begin on January 22 and last until January 31. The development of this autonomous electric bus is the latest example of ANA harnessing the latest technology to improve passenger convenience and comfort.
“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. As sustainability has always been a priority for ANA, we will continue looking for opportunities to make our products and services more eco-friendly.”
ANA and SB Drive first began trials for the driverless bus in 2018, with SB Drive providing the advanced “Dispatcher” technology that oversees safety functions by monitoring for obstacles and potential hazards. Other partners in the development of the autonomous electric bus include Advanced Smart Mobility and BYD.
ANA selected a specific course for the trial, with the bus set to travel the same 1.9km (1.18 miles) segment of restricted area in Haneda Airport multiple times throughout the testing period. During the test, the bus will be evaluated based on its ability to perform the conditional automation with little human oversight.
Because safety is the top priority, ANA is holding the bus to the highest performance standards, and the tests are specifically designed to replicate common real-world scenarios. If testing proceeds as projected, ANA plans to implement the autonomous electric buses at Haneda International Airport by the end of this year.
ANA will continue to promote and embrace the latest technological advancements in the aviation and airline industry to improve every aspect of the air travel experience and simultaneously reduce the airline’s carbon footprint.
Following the “Inspiration of Japan” high quality of service, ANA has been awarded the respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013 from SKYTRAX. ANA is the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation seven years in a row. Additionally, ANA has been recognized by Air Transport World as “Airline of the Year” three times in the past 10 years – 2007, 2013 and 2018, becoming one of the few airlines winning this prestigious award for multiple times.
ANA was founded in 1952 with two helicopters and has become the largest airline in Japan, as well as one of the most significant airlines in Asia, operating 82 international routes and 120 domestic routes. ANA offers a unique dual hub model which enables passengers to travel to Tokyo and connect through the two airports in the metropolitan Tokyo, NARITA and HANEDA, to various destinations throughout Japan, and also offers same day connections between various North American, Asian and Chinese cities.
ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines.
In addition to the full service and award-winning record of ANA, the ANA Group’s subsidiary Peach Aviation Limited is the leading LCC in Japan, and has expanded following the integration of Vanilla Air Inc. in late 2019. The ANA Group carried 54.4 million passengers in FY2018, has approximately 43,000 employees and a fleet of 260 aircraft. ANA is a proud launch customer and the biggest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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