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Mitsubishi Fuso participates in Japan’s first manned platooning test on public expressway

January 23, 2018

  • The world’s first platooning test comprised of three manned trucks from different manufacturers 
  • Test explores opportunities to increase fuel efficiency and counter driver shortages in Japan

Kawasaki, Japan   Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) under Daimler Trucks Asia will take part in a manned platooning test along parts of the Shin Tomei Expressway between Hamamatsu Service Area (SA) and Enshu-morimachi Parking Area (PA) from January 23, 2018.

The demonstration is part of the government’s “Future Strategy 2017”, which aims to take advantage of innovations such as Internet of Things, big data, AI and robotics, and to apply them across all industries. In the commercial vehicle sector, this includes large-scale truck platooning on expressways. Platooning considerably decreases air resistance, hence increasing fuel efficiency and allowing a reduction in CO2 emissions. It also tackles the pressing issue of driver shortages in Japan. 

MFTBC, in collaboration with other domestic truck manufacturers, is participating in this project, which is led by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). The test utilizes CACC (Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control) technology that keeps the distances between the vehicles constant by acquiring acceleration and deceleration information on the surrounding vehicles through an inter-vehicle communication system.

This is the world’s first platooning test conducted with three trucks from different manufacturers. Tests are scheduled to take place on Shin Tomei Expressway between January 23 and 25 and on Kita Kanto Expressway between January 30 and February 1.

Autonomous Driving Technology at MFTBC

Taking part in the demonstration is Fuso’s flagship heavy-duty truck, the new Super Great, which was launched in May 2017. The Super Great is equipped with an inter-vehicle communication device and a prototype electronic control unit. It also comes with “Proximity Control Assist”, which has automatic stop and start functions in addition to auto cruising, allowing the vehicle to maintain an appropriate distance between it and other vehicles.

Autonomous Driving Technology at Daimler Trucks

Aiming to commercialize autonomous driving technology in 2025, the Daimler Trucks division announced the “Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2015” concept, which was equipped with autonomous driving functions in 2014, a world’s first. Daimler Trucks released the automated driving technology “Highway Pilot” in Germany in 2015, and in 2016 Daimler participated in the widely covered European Truck Platooning Challenge hosted by the Dutch government, which demonstrated platooning with three heavy-duty trucks traveling in a caravan on public roads in Germany and the Netherlands.

Freightliner’s heavy-duty “Freightliner Inspiration Truck” attempted the world’s first autonomous drive on public roads with a license plate attached in Nevada, United States. Daimler conducted the world’s first autonomous platooning test on public roads in the United States and platooning trials will continue on public expressways in Oregon and Nevada into 2018.

Daimler has also developed the “Highway Pilot Connect” system, an autonomous and connected driving technology which uses cameras mounted on the body of the vehicle as well as radar.

FUSO at a Glance
FUSO is a Daimler Truck brand, covering nearly all regions around the world. FUSO’s light-duty to heavy-duty trucks (GVW 3.5 49 tons), vans, industrial engines, and buses are sold in more than 170 markets. The FUSO brand is based on four core brand values; Trusted Quality, Economic Efficiency, Solid & Functional Design, and Committed Services.

Daimler Trucks Asia at a Glance
Daimler Trucks Asia (DTA) is an organizational unit that jointly operates Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC)   an icon of the Japanese commercial vehicle industry with more than 80 years of history   and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), a young challenger in the Indian market.  DTA has a strategic business model that allows its group entities to collaborate in product development, production, exports, sourcing and research activity to provide the best of value products.

MFTBC at a Glance
Based in Kawasaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. In 2016, the company sold a total of 130,000 vehicles including light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks and buses under the FUSO brand, with 89.29% of its shares owned by Daimler AG and10.71% by various Mitsubishi group companies. MFTBC is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks division of Daimler AG.


FUSO “Super Great”