Sompo Japan Eyeing Virtual Test System for Autonomous Vehicles

Economy Science Technology

Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)--Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc. said Friday it will develop a system enabling virtual tests of autonomous vehicles, to support the introduction of fully self-driving vehicles by local governments facing difficulties maintaining bus and other public transport services amid labor shortages and population falls.

The major nonlife insurer, a unit of Sompo Holdings Inc. <8630>, hopes to cut costs at local governments for conducting real road tests of autonomous vehicles, by allowing them to carry out simulated test driving in virtual space featuring actual road conditions based on three-dimensional maps.

For the project, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa forged a tie-up with Tier IV Inc., which develops autonomous driving technologies, and Aisan Technology Co. <4667>, which is strong in measuring technologies.

Utilizing data held by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, such as records of traffic accidents and videos recorded by onboard cameras, the system will help find locations with higher risks of accidents and search for safe routes.

For self-driving vehicles to be put into practical use, test operations are needed for ensuring safety. Tests on real roads, however, are time-consuming and costly, making it difficult for local governments to carry them out on their own.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press