IHS Global Insight
April 4, 2017
The Japanese government is looking to promote automotive technology collaboration by setting up common evaluation standards and information technology (IT) platform, reports The Nikkei. The government seeks to encourage companies including automakers, component suppliers, and technology firms to jointly conduct research and development (R&D) in the area of self-driving and connected cars. As part of the set of common evaluation standards, energy transfer from driveshaft to tires, for instance, will be measured using torque and revolution rate. Additionally, the IT system will draw up uniform standards to verify fuel economy, acceleration and battery performance.
Significance: The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, along with four automakers (Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda) and a few component makers (Panasonic, Denso and Mitsubishi Electric) have been working together since last year to set up common standards in the area of self-driving vehicles. Having common standards and an information system would help Japanese companies to expedite sharing and development of next-generation connected and automated driving technologies. This collaboration is also likely to reduce R&D costs for all companies. Japan intends to be a leader not only in developing automated driving technology, but also in formulating guidelines for operating such vehicles on public roads. The country wants to develop international standards for autonomous driving rules through the United Nations World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. Meanwhile, the United States has already taken a lead in formulating a guideline for self-driving cars, releasing a draft in September 2016. The move is also a step towards the Japanese government's goal to commercialize autonomous driving by 2020; the year the country hosts the summer Olympics in Tokyo. In addition to collaborating with the government, automakers are entering strategic partnerships independently with technology companies. Last week, Toyota and NTT, a Japanese telecommunications company, announced a technology partnership to develop connected and autonomous vehicles.
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