Feeds

Japanese PM holds on FOR DEAR LIFE in self-driving car

Shinzo Abe's selfie vid shows very nervous PM enduring rather smooth ride

Boost IT visibility and business value

Nissan took one of its self-driving cars onto the congested streets of Tokyo for the first time last weekend, with a rather sceptical looking VIP (very important passenger) in tow.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe took a brief spin in the ‘Autonomous Drive’ car on Saturday, as well as similar models from Toyota and Honda, ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show.

He told reporters afterwards “I really felt proud that Japanese technology is the world’s best,” according to AFP.

However, as this video shows, Abe didn’t look completely comfortable as the auto-pilot was switched on, his left hand clamped firmly to the inside passenger door handle throughout the brief trip.

Youtube Video

These cars have apparently been tested out hitherto on highways where there are no pedestrians and more predictable driving conditions, so it was a first for them on the mean streets of Tokyo.

Despite Abe’s leap of faith, Japan faces stiff competition globally in this emerging automotive technology market.

Google promised last year that its self-driving cars would be ready by 2017, three years before Nissan’s tentative launch date.

Crucially, laws in California and Nevada have already been passed to allow them on the roads, as long as there is also a driver at the wheel.

A Navigant Research report back in August claimed that by 2035, 100 million autonomous cars would be sold annually worldwide.

That may be, but it’s likely they’ll gain traction first in countries with relatively predictable driving conditions and risk-averse drivers.

So in APAC: Japan yes, China, Indonesia and Thailand no. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.