News May. 25, 2023
Hioki and Macnica Launch Self-driving EV Bus Initiative in Pursuit of Carbon Neutrality
Hioki, which develops, manufactures, sells, and services electric measuring instruments, is pleased to announce a self-driving EV bus initiative conceived to further efforts to realize carbon neutrality in partnership with Macnica, Inc., a total services and solutions provider in semiconductors, networks, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). (Macnica is based in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, and led by President and Co-CEO Kazumasa Hara). As part of this initiative, Hioki will begin preparing for a demonstration program including on-road testing of a self-driving EV bus at its Head Office and Plant (in Ueda, Nagano Prefecture) and in the surrounding area. Supporting the program will be the City of Ueda; Uedadentetsu Co., Ltd.; Ueda Bus Co., Ltd.; and Chikuma Bus Co.
Hioki’s initiatives to achieve carbon neutrality
Under its Basic Policy on Sustainability, Hioki has embraced a commitment to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society. In keeping with that policy, the company formulated the Hioki Sustainability Declaration, which sets forth the goal of achieving Scope 1 and 2 carbon neutrality as defined by the GHG Protocol in 2025, followed by Scope 3 in 2035. As part of its drive to achieve those goals, Hioki will further decarbonization of its own operations as well as of the surrounding community by conducting the demonstration program in partnership with Macnica.
Macnica’s initiatives to support adoption of self-driving technology
Recognizing the need to address global environmental issues and societal issues as a key management priority, Macnica has adopted a basic sustainability policy of leveraging its businesses to contribute to the global environment as well as to social and economic development. A key part of that effort is creating safe, secure, and comfortable lifestyles, and to that end, the company is supporting the revitalization of local communities through smart mobility solutions. Through the demonstration program with Hioki, Macnica will facilitate the commercialization of next-generation mobility services by drawing on its self-driving expertise, consulting capabilities, and extensive track record of experience in the testing and demonstration of self-driving mobility services in Japan and overseas to provide across-the-board support in areas including planning, advance verification, self-driving implementation, operational maintenance, and realization of the greatest possible benefits from the technology’s deployment. In addition, the company will help further decarbonization at Hioki and in the surrounding community by operating an ARMA self-driving EV bus from the French manufacturer Navya, which the project plans to use, and by offering technical support for implementation and an operational management system to facilitate self-driving.
Demonstration program background
Hioki has developed a strong sense of crisis with regard to the lagging state of efforts to implement mobility technologies in Japan even as the sector continues to evolve rapidly in the rest of the world. Recognizing that the project affords an opportunity for not only its employees, but also area residents, to directly experience next-generation mobility for themselves, Hioki decided to launch the self-driving EV bus demonstration program.
Overview of the program
Anticipated routes: Roads surrounding Hioki’s Head Office and Plant (Routes will be officially determined in the coming months following discussions with stakeholders.)
1. Vicinity of the Koizumi intersection on National Route 143 and the Hioki Head Office and Plant (Koizumi Route 2)
2. Vicinity of the Nanbushobosho-mae intersection on Prefectural Route 65 and the Hioki Head Office and Plant (Yokoyama-Kabatake Route)
Vehicle used: Arma (manufactured by Navya)
• Level 3 self-driving system (operating at Level 2)
• Capacity of 15 (8 passengers and 2 crew members)
• Maximum vehicle speed of 25 km/h (maximum route speed of 18 km/h)
• Charging time of about 9 hours (for 100 km of range)
• Other: Manual intervention by driver in the event of an emergency
Cooperation and support:
City of Ueda (comprehensive support);
Ueda Bus Co., Ltd., and Chikuma Bus Co. (drivers);
Uedadentetsu Co., Ltd.
Post-demonstration outlook and expected benefits
Through the demonstration project, Hioki will encourage its employees to learn state-of-the-art technologies needed to realize a sustainable society, and going forward it will leverage those technologies as it provides innovative measurement solutions as an industry front-runner.
Further, Hioki will draw on the results of the demonstration program to undertake a multi-pronged effort to reduce its CO2 emissions by studying and implementing on a trial basis a variety of measures, including self-driving EV buses. The company also looks forward to sharing the expertise gained as a result of the program and subsequent operation of such vehicles with other businesses in Ueda as it works actively to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the community.
Hioki plans to move forward with the demonstration program while ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations and participating in discussions with government agencies and nearby residents.
Comments from the City of Ueda and corporate partners supporting the program (in no particular order)
City of Ueda
The City of Ueda recognizes the pioneering nature of this program, which centers on electric vehicles equipped with self-driving technology in an effort to realize a smart, zero-carbon community, and we’re supporting it with the expectation that it will yield lessons that can be applied to solve public transportation issues in Ueda.
Uedadentetsu Co., Ltd.
We’re excited to see a private-sector company working to expand and enhance public transportation while ushering in the transit technology of the future. We look forward to continuing to deepen partnerships with existing transit operators and working together to build a better public transportation system.
Ueda Bus Co., Ltd.
From the perspective of the the SDGs, it's imperative that society realize an approach to transportation founded on electric vehicles and self-driving, and we consider it an urgent priority to actively pursue related initiatives at our company. We look forward to participating in Hioki’s demonstration program and studying how related technologies can be brought into broad use as quickly as possible.
Ueda Bus Co.
As a company that operates bus routes in Ueda, we support the effort to introduce EV buses to reduce CO2 emissions through Hioki’s program and look forward to supporting projects to bring self-driving EV buses into service as we work together to realize a better community.
Hioki E.E. Corporation
Hioki supplies electric measurement solutions for use in a variety of areas, including the automotive, electronic component, environmental and new energy, and infrastructure fields. Electrical measuring instruments serve as the Swiss Army knives of industry, where they’re used in an array of applications ranging from R&D to production, maintenance, and service. Hioki draws on reliable technologies and proprietary innovations developed over 87 years of focusing on electrical measurement to contribute to society’s peace of mind and development by promoting customers’ safe, effective use of energy through electrical measurement. The company’s Japanese Head Office, which brings together development, manufacturing, and administrative functions, works closely with domestic dealers and 10 group sales companies across Asia, the Americas, and Europe to provide timely solutions to customers worldwide.
Since it was established in 1972, Macnica has provided leading-edge semiconductors, electronic devices, networks and cyber security products with high value-added technology. Macnica has been actively developing new businesses in the fields of AI, IoT, automated driving and robotics, based on its strength in global sourcing and strategic planning for world-leading technologies. With its slogan "Co.Tomorrowing", Macnica connects leading-edge technologies with ‘Macnica’ intelligence to provide unique services and solutions, creating social value and contributing to the betterment of future societies. Headquartered in Yokohama, Macnica’s global business spans 23 countries/regions and 81 locations worldwide. For more information, please visit https://www.macnica.co.jp/en/.