Japan to Allow Autonomous Driving Services in Certain Areas, Reports Say

© AFP 2022 / Yoshikazu TsunoРобот-экскурсовод Tawabo в Токио
Робот-экскурсовод Tawabo в Токио  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Japan is considering a system to screen and approve providers of fully-automated driving services in designated areas of the country, Japanese media reported on Thursday.
The National Police Agency of Japan said it intends to submit amendments to the road traffic law ahead of a government initiative to allow Level 4 automated mobility services in limited areas in 2023, according to Kyodo. Level 4 means that a vehicle can accelerate, steer and brake by itself.
The amendments would allow fully autonomous driving services to operate in designated areas, such as abandoned railroads, to provide mobility services for passengers, the news said. These driverless vehicles would be under the remote supervision of a service provider, with the driving to abide by the usual rules of road safety.
© REUTERS / STRINGERCommuters wearing protective face masks walk at a train station, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo
Commuters wearing protective face masks walk at a train station, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
Commuters wearing protective face masks walk at a train station, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo
The public safety commissions may revoke providers' licenses if autonomous vehicles violate traffic safety rules, Kyodo said.
Amendments will also reportedly include regulations on electric scooters and sidewalk vehicles, including an age limit for drivers and a maximum permitted driving speed.
Sidewalk vehicles will be defined as vehicles close to the size of electric wheelchairs with a maximum speed of 6 kph (about 3 mph). This includes autonomous delivery robots, operators of which will be obliged to register their usernames and operating locations, Kyodo said.
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