Japan planning ‘driverless driving’ for early 2020s.
Japan’s Transport Ministry is about to start a project to create an autopilot system which would take over for cars on expressways.
The ministry envisages an autonomous vehicle system in which, after leaving your home, you enter an interchange of a nearby expressway while manually operating your car.
When pulling into the expressway’s lane exclusively for the autopilot system, you change your driving mode to “automatic driving” and input your destination onto the system. You would take your hands and feet off the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake.
You would return to driving on your own only after reaching an intersection near your destination. Until then, you would leave all driving tasks to the self-steering system, comfortably enjoying whatever activity you like.
The system is hoped to alleviate congestion by keeping vehicles going at a constant speed, while eliminating accidents caused by vehicles veering out of lanes.
A study panel will being initial discussions about the project this month, with an aim to have the system operational in around 10 years.