First in China, a fully operational self-driving vehicle for a residential area

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 29 Nov 2019

Seedland, one of China’s top-100 real estate firms, has announced that Hachi Auto autonomous vehicles began servicing the company’s gated community ‘Boston Ivy’ in Guangzhou. According to Seedland, Hachi Auto, a project developed by Seedland itself is the first time that a self-driving vehicle is operating in a residential community in China.

Hachi Auto is a compact but spacious vehicle that comfortably seats four. It uses an environmentally friendly electric power train, and comes equipped with an array of safety features. Its styling is minimalist, with large windows and leather seating, and earlier this year earned Hachi Auto the ‘iF Design Award’, a world-renowned design prize.

In ‘Boston Ivy’, two Hachi Auto vehicles shuttle between the community’s bus stop and its food court, passing its underground parking, main garden, as well as its activity, marketing, and children’s centres along their route. Hachi Auto fits seamlessly into China’s hi-tech and on-demand culture. Any resident can call a Hachi Auto using their phone, their apartment’s control panel, or even their smart mirror. To make sure people of all ages and ability can use Hachi Auto, passengers can give commands using either touchscreens or their voice. In cases of emergency, it can even safely transport people who are sick, injured, or pregnant to their community’s entrance, saving time while an ambulance is en route.

Hachi Auto self driving vehicle for Seedland retail firm

Hachi Auto claims that during more than 2,000 test drives, observers did not need to intervene once. And with over 100,000 kilometres’ worth of data, the vehicle’s algorithms are ready for all types of weather, be it wind, rain, fog, or night time. An array of LiDAR and cameras makes aids Hachi Auto to avoid collisions, with its positioning system accurate to up to two centimetres. The vehicle can sense both stationary and moving objects and decide when it should stop and when it is safe to continue. In case of sudden obstacles, such as children running across the road, Hachi Auto can make emergency stops within 30 centimetres. A short wheelbase and innovative reversing technologies allow for Hachi Auto to manoeuvre itself out of any situation.