Japan isn’t far behind the US in terms of interest in new mobility technologies. The country is putting all its efforts into improving the future of urban transportation, from self-driving mechanisms to hyperloop technologies.
According to Reuters, a self-driving car service could appear on Tokyo’s roads before the 2020 Olympics. Japan is looking to invest in new technologies to boost economic growth.
In June, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan would test a driverless vehicle system on public highways sometime in this fiscal year. The goal is to launch a self-driving car service by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The government plans to start commercializing this system in 2022.
Self-Driving Vehicles: The Next Revolution
Toyota and General Motors, along with the government, are working hard to bring this long-awaited vision to life.
Business Sweden’s (The Swedish Trade & Invest Council) 2016 report stated that Japan is still catching up in the autonomous driving field. It is expected to regain the lead over the next few years, as this is a high-priority area for both the government and the companies. Swedish automotive companies with unique products and services should explore opportunities that arise from Japan’s ambitious plans for autonomous driving.
Partnerships on the Rise
Partnerships are the driving force behind innovation in the Japanese mobility sector. They explore the potential for autonomous vehicles. This year, companies such as Nissan, General Motors, and Baidu have worked together to test driverless cars in Japan.
Nissan and Japanese gaming software company DeNA announced in February the launch of Easy Ride. This is a service that allows people to travel to their desired destination using a robocar.
Both companies have created a remote monitoring center that uses advanced technologies to ensure efficient fleet operations and customer peace of mind.
General Motors, a US automaker, and Cruise Automation, GM’s self-driving division, partnered this month with Honda to develop self-driving vehicles. Honda will invest $2.75 Billion into GM’s unit for self-driving cars under the partnership.
Honda and General Motors will jointly fund and develop an autonomous vehicle that is designed for Cruise. The car can be used for a variety of applications and manufactured in large quantities for global deployment. Honda, General Motors, and Cruise will also explore international commercial opportunities for the Cruise network.
The next is the Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor, which established a joint venture and strategic partnership called MONET Technologies with SoftBank this month. The new MONET company will help create new mobility services.