IMC Newsdesk

Yamaha, Tier IV factory transport automation

  • April 8, 2020
  • William Payne

Yamaha Motor and Tier IV have formed a joint venture to develop autonomous factory transport services to help Yamaha Motor and other companies address chronic labour shortages and growing needs for high-mix low-volume production. The two companies plan to provide smart factory services to general customers in due course.

The new company will be called eve autonomy, Inc., and will be based in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. 

Beginning in April, eve autonomy will begin offering solutions designed to be easily implemented, combining Tier IV’s Autoware, an open-source operating system for autonomous driving, and Yamaha Motor’s vehicle-body development technologies. 

Envisioned subscription-type services and after-sales support will enable customer factories to respond to demand fluctuations and reduce their initial costs of implementation.

Yamaha Motor and Tier IV began trial services on production lines this month at Yamaha Motor’s Hamakita Plant in Hamamatsu, as a step toward creating a smart factory.

eve autonomy is taking over this pilot trial from its parent companies to provide an autonomous transportation service to Yamaha Motor manufacturing plants in Japan and overseas. 

As the next step, the company plans to leverage the knowhow it gains in optimizing the services at Yamaha Motor manufacturing plants to provide manufacturing automation and efficiency solutions to general customers.

Makoto Shimamoto, Yamaha Motor Director and Mobility Technology Division General Manager, said, “eve autonomy will provide an autonomous transportation service for extra-efficient labour-saving production. By combining Yamaha Motor’s expertise in hardware and reliability with Tier IV’s speed and cutting-edge technologies, I believe we will create unprecedented value.”

Shinpei Kato, Tier IV Founder and CTO said, “This collaboration between a leading Japanese company like Yamaha Motor and a deep-tech startup like Tier IV will be highly competitive on the global stage. By combining the expertise of our joint team and the capabilities of our Autoware, we aim to revolutionize autonomous transportation services. With the tough times the world is currently facing, we will do our best to provide something positive.”