Small vehicles operating inautonomous mode, created by Panasonic jointly with JR East Group, will be able to provide transportation for people with disabilities. A Panasonic robotic mobile device is currently being tested, which is an autonomous electric wheelchair.
The test takes place at the railway stationTakanawa in Minato (Tokyo). The program uses three Panasonic robotic mobile chairs. The lead chair is remotely controlled by the station operator, and the second and third robots automatically follow him in the column. The main task of the experiment is to identify the ability of devices to move in an open environment and ensure safety in the presence of obstacles.
Robots are equipped with an automatic systembraking, which allows them to slow down or stop completely when an obstacle is detected, and an autonomous tracking function, which guarantees the movement of the slave robots after the leader. When interference is detected between the devices moving in the column, the rear robots slow down, and continue to move when the road is cleared.
Tests in closed mode will last from July toseptember 2020. In the future, the developers set the goal of creating fully autonomous individual vehicles, without the need for their control by the operator.