TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had taken a ride in several self-driving vehicles on public roads in the capital to showcase the technology ahead of this week’s opening of the Tokyo Motor Show.
Abe tried auto-piloting vehicles from Toyota, Honda and Nissan on the roads around Japan’s National Diet Building, as major international carmakers compete with the likes of Google and other IT firms to develop new types of cars with the goal of helping reduce accidents by eradicating human error.
“I felt with my body that the Japanese technology is the world’s best,” Abe said after riding the vehicles.
It was the first time that auto-piloting vehicles have run on ordinary roads in Japan. Carmakers have previously tested self-driving vehicles on highways that offer better driving conditions—and no pedestrians.
The Tokyo Motor Show will feature the self-driving technologies, as well as electric vehicles and other models.
Abe has pledged to help advance auto-piloting technology as part of his economic policy, in addition to measures encouraging various technological innovations, investments and to attract foreign talents to work in Japan.