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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Japan to launch highway lane for self-driving vehicles and drone delivery route

Japan plans to create a special lane for self-driving vehicles on a highway and a flight route for delivery drones as part of a project to expand digital technologies across the country.

The project was discussed at a meeting on Friday by Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and relevant ministers at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Kishida said the project will start in the fiscal year that begins in April 2024 and will be part of the infrastructure development for building a digitalized society.

He asked Industry Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi to work out the details of the plan.

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Nishimura said his ministry will look into creating a special lane for self-driving trucks on a 100-kilometer section of the Shin-Tomei Expressway, which connects Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, with Aichi Prefecture in central Japan.

Nishimura also said his ministry will consider setting up a new flight course of more than 150 kilometers over Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, as a route for drones to deliver goods and to maintain power lines.

Kishida expressed his determination to push forward with the infrastructure development and land planning needed for digitalization.

He instructed ministers in the meeting to continue working to achieve digitalization across the country to revitalize rural areas.

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