March 31, 2017 4:30 am JST

Japan to spur automotive tech collaboration at home

Common standards getting drawn up for carmakers, parts suppliers, IT providers

The Japanese government will draw up common standards for evaluating the performance of autos, to promote collaboration in such fields as self-driving technologies.

TOKYO -- The government will help Japanese companies cultivate cutting-edge technologies in automobiles by providing uniform evaluation criteria and a common information system platform.

Four major automakers -- Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and Mazda Motor -- have been working with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry since last year to develop guidelines as well as the information technology system. Components makers like Panasonic, Denso and Mitsubishi Electric have also taken part.

Automakers normally use their own evaluation criteria in development. Consequently, parts suppliers shoulder the heavy burden of testing prototypes in various ways to prove that they meet each automaker's expectations. Information sharing and technology cooperation among industry peers have not been easy. Nor has it been simple to build business relations across group affiliations.

The development of new technologies such as autonomous driving and electric vehicles is highly complex, and production processes differ significantly from ordinary cars. Automotive companies will need the expertise of IT businesses and research institutions. Having to coordinate standards each time would be inefficient and could erode Japan Inc.'s competitiveness against European and U.S. companies.

One area that the companies are concentrating on now is so-called "connected cars." Developing such autos with constant access to the Internet requires new types of knowledge and experience, so common standards and a shared system would make it easier for startups and universities to participate.

The standards will specify common units for measuring electricity and heat, among other things. Energy transfer from the drive shaft to tires, for instance, will be gauged with torque and revolution rate.

The IT system to be released along with the standards will let companies verify fuel economy, acceleration and battery performance using common yardsticks. The industry ministry and participating businesses decided the content of the system, and a startup that specializes in supporting automotive technology development built it.

(Nikkei)

Toyota Motor Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(7203)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Motor Vehicles
Market cap(USD): 184,042.06M
Shares: 3,262.99M

Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(7267)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Motor Vehicles
Market cap(USD): 50,099.99M
Shares: 1,811.42M

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(7201)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Motor Vehicles
Market cap(USD): 42,035.53M
Shares: 4,220.71M

Mazda Motor Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(7261)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Motor Vehicles
Market cap(USD): 8,728.59M
Shares: 599.87M

Panasonic Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(6752)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Electronics/Appliances
Market cap(USD): 32,712.60M
Shares: 2,453.05M

DENSO Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(6902)
Sector:
Industry:
Producer Manufacturing
Auto Parts: OEM
Market cap(USD): 38,323.09M
Shares: 794.06M

Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(6503)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Electronic Equipment/Instruments
Market cap(USD): 32,302.68M
Shares: 2,147.20M

Get Insights on Asia In Your Inbox

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Get your first month for $0.99

Redeemable only through the Subscribe button below

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

Resubscribe now to continue reading.
BEST OFFER:
Only US$ 9.99 per month for a full-year subscription

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

We could not renew your subscription.
You need to update your payment information.