Japan will let driverless cars roam freely ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japan will allow dozens of autonomous vehicles to freely roam around streets near competition areas prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Bloomberg reports that the local government is working alongside car manufacturers such as Toyota and Nissan to roll out self-driving cars on its streets for a week before the games commence next July. Japan is reportedly keen to show of its autonomous vehicle prowess on the world stage.

 

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Certain details about the program remain under wraps, but it is reported that up to 100 self-driving cars will be offering rides around the Olympics venues. Once the Games finish, on-road testing of autonomous cars will continue throughout Japan until 2022, as the country wants to introduce self-driving cars to its streets by 2025.

Toyota announced last month that it will have its all-autonomous, electric-powered E-Palette concept up and running throughout the Olympic Village. The E-Palette, which will nevertheless have a human operator inside at all times, will offer enough room for up to 20 Olympic staff and athletes, or space for four wheelchairs and seven standing passengers.

Others models set to be introduced by Toyota will be the Accessible People Mover set to run between venues for short-distance trips, and the Concept-i, which first unveiled to the world back at CES 2017, will serve as the operating vehicle for the torch relay and the lead vehicle in the marathon. Toyota will also be offering test drives of the Level 4 self-driving car and has already said that 90 per cent of its entire Olympic fleet will be electrified.

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