Autonomous technology for cars, ships, and other means of mobility is attracting growing interest. As technology improves, autonomous systems have the potential to reduce traffic accidents and energy used in transport. Nisshinbo is bringing together existing technologies from across the Group and refining its expertise in advanced driver-assisted systems (ADAS) and other technologies for autonomous land, sea, and air transport. Our goal is to help improve safety and reduce environmental impact.
High-precision Positioning Services
In order to realize mobility autonomous driving, positioning services need to be more accurate than ever before. Today’s GPS systems are accurate to within 10 meters. Replacing those systems with high-precision positioning technology that improves accuracy to a few centimeters would enable autonomous vehicles to determine their current road lane using only satellite positioning. That kind of technology is likely to be in high demand from a wide range of fields. Japan Radio Co., Ltd. is developing a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) chip that receives signals from the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). The GNSS receiver chips will play a vital role in realizing new high-precision positioning services. To promote the new services overseas, Japan Radio in June 2017 became one of the founding shareholders in Global Positioning Augmentation Service Corporation (GPAS).
How GPAS Services Will Work
1 How GPAS Services Will Work
2 Using the data, errors in satellite orbits and clocks are accurately calculated.
3 Corrected data is transmitted to users via QZSS.* (Data distribution via the Internet is also possible.)
4 Transmitted data is used to calculate the position of the user, enabling positioning services accurate to within a few centimeters.
* Quasi-Zenith Satellite System
The Japanese government is rapidly working to create safer transport infrastructure using information and communication technology (ICT) with the aim of building the world's safest road network by 2020. As part of that push, Japan Radio is developing a driving safety support system (DSSS). The system is designed to reduce traffic accidents and improve driving efficiency by using sensors to detect pedestrians and other dangers and transmit warnings wirelessly to drivers.
Using its existing radar-sensing technology, Japan Radio has also started supplying traffic counters and systems to detect vehicles driving in the wrong direction. Japan Radio’s detection equipment uses radar-sensing technology originally developed for marine and weather applications. Compared with conventional camera-based equipment, the company’s products are compact, competitively priced, and perform better at nighttime and under difficult weather conditions, such as fog. They are also less affected by glare and color contrast issues.
Autonomous Ship Operation
Autonomous ship operation offers many potential benefits, such as fewer collisions, improved ship operation, and lower crewing costs. Japan Radio is developing a number of core technologies, such as collision avoidance maneuvering technology and a ship-to-shore information sharing system that uses satellite links and a VHF data exchange system (VDES). The company is aiming to achieve semiautonomous ship operation by 2022 and full autonomous operation by 2030. Autonomous operation has the potential to improve the safety of navigation and also to reduce environmental impact by increasing fuel efficiency through optimal route selection.
Brake Friction Materials (Copper-free)
Following the tightening of environmental regulations in the United States, it will be prohibited in that country to sell or to fit new cars with friction materials having a copper content of more than 5% after 2021 and more than 0.5% after 2025. Demand for copper-reduced and copper-free friction materials is likely to increase in other markets as well. We predict that orders for new friction materials will exceed those for conventional materials from 2020. Nisshinbo has taken the lead in the sector in developing copper-reduced and copper-free friction materials. The whole Group has worked together to develop the new materials, which were fully launched in 2017. Nisshinbo Brake Inc. will steadily increase production capacity for the new materials at its Tatebayashi Plant and at sites in the United States and other overseas markets. We aim to increase market share by building a volume production framework to address projected growth in demand for copper-reduced and copper-free friction materials, while also making improvements to our products based on market feedback. We aim to grow our friction materials business by expanding our product lineup and making an even greater contribution to environmental preservation.