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POSTED | 17:07 PM | 26-02-2015

Japan firms to work on self-driving car technology

Japan’s big three automakers will team up with electronics giants and the government in a bid to propel the country into the front ranks of self-driving car technology, officials and local media said on Thursday (26 Feb 2015).

“We will set up a so-called self-navigation business conference so that we can discuss what measures we need to take,” a Land and Transport Ministry official was quoted as saying by AFP.

The Nikkei business daily said the government will invite Toyota, Nissan and Honda as well as Panasonic and Hitachi to the meeting, which will look at jointly developing parts and technologies related to self-driving.

The project will also involve the University of Tokyo and Nagoya University, with their research institutes handling analyses of data, the newspaper said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will include measures on the project in his growth strategy plan, expected to be announced around June, the daily said.

As a first step, auto parts makers will standardize software for self-control navigation and for sensors that detect obstacles while driving so that they can cut development and production costs, it said.

Common technology for communication links will also be targeted to guard against accidents caused by hacking.

Currently, Japanese auto parts makers lag behind Bosch in sensors, with the German giant supplying western as well as Japanese carmakers, the Nikkei said.

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