Yamaha introduces new autonomous technologies
Yamaha Motor Co. announced that it has developed a low-speed autonomous entertainment vehicle, called the SC-1, and the company is gathering data to aid in forestry management with its unmanned Yamaha Motor FAZER R G2 helicopters outfitted with LiDAR technology.
Yamaha Motor Co. has jointly developed the SC-1 Sociable Cart, which is designed to deliver a new low-speed mobility experience, with Sony Corp. The SC-1 combines Yamaha Motor’s autonomous driving technology and Sony's entertainment imaging technology. The companies plan to launch Japanese domestic services using this model later this year. The SC-1 was developed solely for the purpose of providing a new mobility experience, and will not be made available for sale.
As well as images of the surroundings captured by cameras, the SC-1 can project a range of video and mixed reality (MR) images that suit its current location onto the high-resolution displays installed on the vehicle interior and exterior. Doing so is meant to create an entertainment space unmatched by any traditional vehicle, aiming to provide a more enjoyable low-speed mobility value to occupants and people nearby.
As it operates, the SC-1 applies artificial intelligence (AI) analysis to data about the vehicle's surroundings gathered by the advanced image sensors, ultrasonic sensors, and LiDAR system, enabling display of optimal travel assistance as well as the ideal information (route guidance, store information, entertainment, news streaming, advertisements, etc.) to suit people’s attributes, such as age and gender.
To date, Yamaha Motor has worked with Sony on vehicle development through initiatives such as the prototype model based on electric golf carts (announced in 2016) and the New Concept Cart SC-1 concept model (announced in 2017). It has also pursued both technology development and evaluation of customer requirements via projects including the Moonlight Cruise limited-time nighttime golf course ride experience service at Kanucha Resort in Nago City, Okinawa.
The SC-1 can hold five passengers and travel at a speed of up to 19 km/h (12 mph). It features a lithium-ion polymer battery and operates using electromagnetic induction.
In aerospace, Yamaha Motor announced an evaluation trial of forestry situation measurement within Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, on August 27, 2019. The trial was run in collaboration with the City of Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture Agriculture and Forestry Technology Research Institute’s Forest Industry Research Center, the National Institute of Technology, Numazu College, and NDMC Co.
The evaluation trial employed industrial-use unmanned Yamaha Motor FAZER R G2 helicopters outfitted with LiDAR technology and featuring an extended flight time to measure the topography as well as tree density, numbers, and trunk diameters. By capturing this information as digital data, the goal of the trial was to contribute to the development of appropriate and efficient forestry management plans and the creation of forestry asset value.
Other projects involving unmanned helicopters to which Yamaha Motor has contributed include its agricultural chemical sprayer business (principally for rice paddies), observation of disaster sites such as volcanic eruptions and landslides, and transport of maintenance materials for electricity transmission towers in mountainous areas.