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Politics

Japan aims to make 20% of autos driverless by 2030

The Nissan Serena can drive itself on the highway under certain conditions.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is looking to have one out of every five cars autonomous by 2030, as part of the "fourth industrial revolution" initiative to revitalize the economy.

A proposal containing that goal will be presented during Tuesday's meeting of a committee under the Industrial Structure Council, an advisory body within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The committee will be tasked with coming up with a detailed course of action regarding regulatory reforms for driverless technology, health, manufacturing and people's livelihoods. The direction will follow the industrial structure vision compiled in April.

Currently, the government plans to permit self-driving vehicles in certain regions in 2020, aiming to give rise to a domestic market for completely automated vehicles by 2025. METI's new goal for 2030 provides a numerical target based on the objectives previously mapped out.

The government is looking to reduce deaths from traffic accidents to a tenth of 2015's 4,100-plus fatalities by 2030. The government also seeks to reduce the number of people with impaired access to transportation to a tenth of the current sum by the same year. Some 7 million people now fit that description, chiefly elderly people living in rural areas.

The METI committee will coordinate with the transport ministry to develop approaches for rewriting relevant laws. The committee will also submit proposals for proof-of-concept testing in fields such as self-driving trucks on highways.

(Nikkei)

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