OSAKA – Osaka City Bus Corp. took media representatives for a test ride on a self-driving bus Monday.
The affiliate of subway operator Osaka Metro Co. aims to start autonomous bus services in fiscal 2020, which starts April 1, in the city’s waterfront area.
A French-made Navya Arma autonomous bus was used in the test.
When manual driving is necessary, the operator would have to use a controller because the Arma has no steering wheel. A staff member would push an emergency brake button when the vehicle meets an obstacle and needs to stop.
Osaka City Bus plans to carry out an autonomous bus test from next Monday to Jan. 19 using a revamped Poncho built by Hino Motors Ltd. Through the test, the company aims to identify problems and boost the quality of its planned self-driving bus service.
The firm is also considering introducing self-driving buses during the 2025 World Exposition to be held on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka.