TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA (Toyota, JP)

A control part of a traffic controller apparatus that prepares schedule driving routes for a plurality vehicle based on the current location and the destination of multiple vehicles, or receives scheduled driving route of plurality vehicles from the parts that communicate. It will also determine if there are any vehicles that are close to each other and their anticipated times of driving or arrival times in the area where the routes overlap and, in the event that they do it determines the priority of stopping and driving of the vehicles within the area based information about the people in the vehicles.

In recent times, research of automated driving technology, with an eye on realization of taxi, bus rideshare, rideshare and other mobility options using automated driving vehicles automatically operated for driving. JapaneseUnexamined Patent Publication No. 2017-182137 outlines as one mobility service the technology relating to a car dispatch service for making an automated vehicle drive to the desired location for pickup of a customer when a request is made for useof the customer and making the automated driving vehicle pick up the customer and take him or her to the desired destination.

Typically, automated driving vehicles travel on pre-planned routes of driving that are based on the current position information as well as the information about the destination of the vehicle passengers etc. If the scheduled driving routes of automated drivingvehicles overlap at times, the automated vehicles will be near to each other within the region where the planned driving routes intersect or the automated driving vehicles arrive within close proximity to the points of departure of the scheduled driving routes. In such a case there are times when it can’t be considered desirable to allow a preceding vehicle to move or stop with priority in the area that the scheduled driving routes overlap.

This announcement was made in order to address the issue. It was created to establish whether automated driving vehicles should be allowed to be driven or stopped in an area in which the routes aren’t directly linked.

To solve the above problem, the traffic control apparatus in accordance with one of the aspects described in this disclosure comprises a communication part designed to communicate with car-mounted devices mounted in a variety of vehicles that are controlled to be driven automatically and a control component. The control component can be utilized to design scheduled driving routes for the various vehicles depending on the current position and destinations of the various vehicles. It is also able to receive scheduled driving routes from the various vehicles through the communicating portion.

Further, the traffic control system described in another aspect of the present disclosure includes car-mounted devices positioned in several vehicles that are controlled so that they can be automatically driven and a server capable of communicating with the devices mounted on the car via an network. Furthermore, the car-mounted units can be configured to communicate the current locations and destinations of the plurality of vehicles to the server or send the scheduled driving routes for the multitude of vehicles based on the current positions and destinations of the various types of vehicles to the server. The server is able to generate planned driving routes for the diverse vehicles based on the present locations and destinations of the various of vehicles it receives through the car-mounted devices, or to receive scheduled driving routes of the various vehicles via the car-mounted devices, judge if, among the plurality of vehicles there are at least two close vehicles with projected times of driving or anticipated times of arrival within an area where the driving routes scheduled for the day overlap becoming the same time period, and, in the event that there are close vehicles decide on the stopping and driving priorities of the close vehicles in the area in which the driving routes scheduled for the day intersect based on data relating to passengers that are picked up by the respective close vehicles.

The method of traffic control described in one aspect of this disclosure also involves the preparation of pre-planned driving routes for a plurality vehicle. The routes are controlled to be automatically driven by using the current locations and destinations of the multiple vehicles. The communicating component is designed to be able to communicate with car mounted devices in the multiple vehicles. It is also able to receive scheduled driving routes from the plurality of vehicles. This lets the communicating component detect close vehicles. If so any, it decides on the stopping and driving priority of the vehicles in the area based on data about the passenger.

The non-transitory computer record medium in one aspect also functions as a computer program that controls the flow of traffic. It allows a computer to prepare scheduled driving route of a plurality vehicles, based on their current position and locations.

These aspects of the disclosure allow one to determine whether an automated vehicle is required to be operated or stopped in an area where the routes are not directly linked. This is true even if there are many automated vehicles with various projected times of driving and arrival times.

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