eve autonomy launches Japan’s first unmanned transportation service using autonomous EV

“eve auto” autonomous transportation service for outdoor use starts full-scale operation

eve autonomy, a leading autonomous transportation company, is pleased to announce that it launches the all-in-one autonomous transportation service “eve auto” that it has jointly developed with Yamaha Motor and TIER IV. This commercial autonomous transportation service with Level 4 driverless autonomous electric vehicles (EVs) is the first of its kind in Japan.

“eve auto,” which is a combination of an autonomous EV specifically developed by Yamaha Motor and the commercial autonomous driving software platforms “Pilot.Auto” and “Web.Auto” offered by TIER IV, is a subscription-type autonomous transportation service that comes with after-sales support, such as periodic maintenance or map editing, and dedicated insurance for the autonomous driving system provider in a single package*2. Except for public roads, it can be used in a wide range of environments including factories and warehouses.

eve autonomy has been working to launch “eve auto” as a commercial service for about two and a half years since its foundation in February 2020. The company implemented a Level 4 autonomous fleet of transport vehicles at Yamaha Motor’s Hamakita factory around the summer of 2020. Currently, eve auto is in operation at nine sites, including Yamaha Motor’s three factories, Prime Polymer’s Anesaki Works, Panasonic Corp.’s cold chain factory in the Oizumi area, Fuji Electric’s Suzuka factory, Japan Logistic Systems Corp.’s Ageo Center, and ENEOS Corp.’s Negishi refinery.

Due to the declining workforce and the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for automation has grown and the importance of initiatives for carbon neutrality has increased. When it comes to outdoor transportation, however, operation by “humans” continues. Outdoor transportation faces several challenges, including the difficulty of introducing conventional automated guided vehicles (AGVs); mixed environments shared with other vehicles such as trucks, passenger cars, and bicycles, as well as pedestrians; and the difficulty of modifying the operational routes which is required when using embedded electromagnetic induction wires. To address these issues technically, the company applied TIER IV’s commercial autonomous driving software platforms “Pilot.Auto” and “Web.Auto” to a compact EV tailored for autonomous transportation developed by Yamaha Motor, thereby creating the all-in-one autonomous transportation service “eve auto”.

“eve auto” can be deployed with no construction work. It is a transportation service for both indoor and outdoor environments that can tow up to 1,500 kilograms. Besides the fleet management system, additional services, including post-deployment support and vehicle maintenance, are also provided. Based on a land vehicle that can move on uneven outdoor environments and autonomous driving software optimized for use in low-speed automated transportation, it can withstand rain and wind or a rough road to a certain extent.

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