On October 17, 2016, HORIBA awards the 13th Masao Horiba Awards to researchers who have engaged in this year's theme of developing innovative situational awareness technologies to enable autonomous driving. By adding MIRA Ltd. as a member of the HORIBA Group in 2015, HORIBA is actively contributing as a partner to researchers as well as companies conducting technological research and development on next-generation automotive technology, including autonomous driving.
The concept of the theme
Today, an ever-growing number of companies are working in research and development on autonomous driving. As a result, fully autonomous driving is likely to be realized in the not-too-distant future. Autonomous driving is expected to bring solutions to many societal issues: it will ensure safe driving, reduce traffic accidents, mitigate traffic congestion, decrease environmental impact, as well as create a comfortable driving environment.
In order to realize autonomous vehicle operation, the technologies that perform "Cognition", "Judgment" and "Control" and how they interact with each other, has to be developed. Especially, the multiplicity of sensing technologies required for "Cognition" and data analysis technologies comparable to human intelligence for “Judgment” all present major challenges. They also have to be robust, optimized and validated. In addition, the innovative human technology interface required for switching the operation from automation to manual and understanding the driver’s status are still largely unsolved.
With the vision of contributing and realizing an autonomous driving society, HORIBA, a specialist in analysis and measurement technologies, has selected the above theme for this year to support researchers and engineers around the world who are actively engaged in original research and development on diagnosis, measurement, and analysis technologies.
HORIBA's initiatives and achievements in autonomous driving
Since the release of its first automotive exhaust gas analyzer “MEXA-1” in 1965, HORIBA has been engaged in developing analysis and measurement technologies in the area of automotive emission measurement for over 50 years. HORIBA holds approximately 80%* of the global market share in emission measurement systems and acquired a mechatronics business in 2005. In 2015, we also acquired U.K.-based MIRA Ltd. (now HORIBA MIRA, Ltd.) into our group and started providing vehicle engineering consultancy and testing services in vehicle development, including autonomous driving vehicles. Today, HORIBA provides complete test and measurement solutions for automotive development.
HORIBA MIRA has been at the forefront of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) development for many years successfully delivering major programmes such as SAFESPOT and WATCH-OVER. SAFESPOT created dynamic cooperative networks where the vehicles and the road infrastructure communicated to share information to enhance the drivers' perception of the vehicle surroundings reducing road accidents. WATCH-OVER developed a cooperative system for the prevention of accidents involving vulnerable road users in urban and extra-urban areas.
Currently, HORIBA MIRA is at the heart of the agenda to introduce CAV to public roads and cooperating on two major programmes. UK AUTODRIVE will see the trialing of multiple aspects of automated driving on the streets of Milton Keynes and Coventry, building a deep understanding of the impact of driverless vehicles on road users and society; and UK CITE will create an environment for the introduction of multiple communications methods on the streets of Coventry and surrounding road network to deliver safety and convenience services.
*Market share quoted is estimated by HORIBA
About Masao Horiba Awards
In 2003 to mark the 50th anniversary of HORIBA Ltd., its founder, the late Dr. Masao Horiba, established an award for scientists and technical experts involved in the research of measurement technology outside the group companies. This award is intended to support scientists and experts who are devoting themselves to research and development that will generate innovative technology in analysis and measurement. It also aims to strengthen the position of measurement technologies within the scientific and industrial world. The field for the award is decided each year with a focus on the principles and fundamental technologies fostered by HORIBA, and the award highlights unique research and development with the findings and potential that deserves a global recognition.
The HORIBA Group of worldwide companies provides an extensive array of instruments and systems for applications ranging from automotive R&D, process and environmental monitoring, in-vitro medical diagnostics, semiconductor manufacturing and metrology to a broad range of scientific R&D and QC measurements. Proven quality and trustworthy performance have established widespread confidence in the HORIBA brand.
About HORIBA MIRA
HORIBA MIRA is a global provider of pioneering engineering, research and test services to the automotive, defence, aerospace and rail sectors. We work in close collaboration with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers around the world, providing comprehensive support ranging from individual product tests to turnkey multi-vehicle design, development and build programmes.
With over 70 years’ experience in developing some of the world’s most iconic vehicles, our engineers utilise the latest test facilities and simulation tools to make vehicles and journeys safer, cleaner, more efficient and rewarding. Our suite of over 37 major test facilities, 100km of specialised proving ground and wealth of engineering experience, combined with our expanding international presence, means we are confident that we can achieve our vision – that by 2020 every journey in the world will be positively influenced by us.