By the end of 2017, we are just a couple of years away from the Tokyo Summer Olympics. This is going to be one of the biggest events in the history of Tokyo and Japan which is why they are working with their uniqueness to show the world how far they are in the tech. So the one thing which they are eyeing on is the automobile industry.
We all know that automobile is the prime industry and export of Japan. Every year only the Japanese used cars auction houses exports thousands of units across the globe. However, achieving this milestone is not easy especially in just two years.
Role of Automobile Companies:
Some of the Japanese automobile companies like Honda and Nissan has already done a lot in this regard. However, to run on the streets, Japan needs to replace all the manual driven cars with the auto driving cars to ensure the safety of this project.
In this regard, the prime task on which all the automotive companies are convinced is the 3D mapping of the roads. To keep the autonomous cars on the roads without any accident or collision with the other cars or inbetweeners, highly detailed 3D maps are really important. On combining the data of Tokyo’s streets, this will be the data of hundreds of terabytes. Which is why the companies have to use an AI feature which is machine learning systems and big data technology. By collecting and analyzing the data, then it can be fed into an entire fleet of vehicles.
When the entire mapping of the city would be done and get fed to the vehicle, on the papers it is possible that the car would be able to identify every traffic light, walkways, pathways, intersection and every other important point of the road within its half a mile radius. Now it is only in the papers but the calculations are accurate and we can expect it to happen because Japanese doesn’t make such claims without the proof or at least surety.
On the next stage, the automobile engineers need to increase the resolution of the map so the cars could get a clearer picture on the highway off ramps. This is important because it will help the autonomous cars to faceless technical issues when its AI and big data failed due to the new roads or even off roads.
Not only the steps have been taken by the government or big automobile enterprises in this regard, many other companies are also helping the authorities to make this idea possible. That is why the Japanese robotics maker ZMP in a partnership with a local taxi operator in Tokyo with an effort to start a first cab service in the world that would not be controlled by any human. The CEO of ZMP Hisashi Taniguchi said that they have done some great homework and also have planned about how they can overcome the required obstacles before the 2020 Olympics.
This will not only a landmark in the automobile industry but will also help Japan in countering the lack of labor issue. Japan is one of those markets which always finds a way to enhance their capabilities and industries. Due to lack of immigration rate, Japan doesn’t get enough manpower for their industry, which is why they are also finding new ways through technology for growth driving. Furthermore, this industry is always under threat from the ride-sharing services like Uber. Such services in Japan is still not authorized by the government and on allowing them, the Japanese transporters believe that it will be the final nail in the coffin of Japan cab industry.
Toyota doing more than just sponsoring:
Toyota is one of the major global sponsors of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 with the other automobile manufacturing companies like Honda and Nissan too. But Toyota is the one company which is also playing its role in making the Tokyo as the home of autonomous cars. This company has set an organizational goal to launch the vehicles for the limited highway conditions in 2020. In addition, they are not going to stop there too. In 2025, they will launch the more advanced version of the autonomous vehicles of 2020.
Subaru is in the lead:
Meanwhile, of all this high-profile development made with the collaboration of Japanese government and some private bodies, there is a company which is taking the lead on all of this. The Subaru a not so known company of Japan was the first one who developed a car with the Eyesight stereo camera system which offers advanced driver assistance. Due to this feature, this company always get associated with the tag of Tesla of Japan. The cars of this company have the feature of the highway like autopilot functionality which is still uncommon in Japan and can become the bedrock of Japan’s transport revolution.