Japan, in particular, Tokyo, is currently amongst the leaders in the production of driverless vehicles in Asia. South Korea struggles to catch up with the neighbor. The testing of cars on driverless vehicles on real roads in South Korea is already permitted, but at the same time, there must be at least two passengers in the car. More than 10 different organizations have received permission to test the technology on an ongoing basis, including the flagships of the car market: Hyundai, KIA, and Seoul. Testing of cars is allowed on all road sections, except for specially reserved for elderly people, drivers with disabilities, as well as those areas that require protection due to the frequent movement of children.
In winter of 2017, Korea plans to introduce a bus on autonomous management, for the first time in history, not in a test mode, but in practice.
Japan also prohibits the movement of driverless vehicles without passengers’ insurance, but the Japanese government decided that one person in the car is enough to be safe. The main purpose of Japanese driverless vehicles is the ability to facilitate movement for older passengers, as well as to reduce the number of traffic jams and accidents.
A prerequisite for the test use of an driverless vehicle is the availability of a driver’s license, as well as constant monitoring of the vehicle’s condition and compliance with traffic rules.
The permission to work as a tester of such cars is valid for six months. Testing is only allowed in areas where there is a reliable and strong wireless Internet connection to get a full and regularly updated map of the area. Testing is not carried out in the area where such an experiment can significantly affect the movement of cars and the appearance of traffic jams.
Japanese developers and testers pay maximum attention to the issue of security, which allows them to remain leaders in the accuracy of development and in the speed of their implementation in real use. In the Okinawa area, a test version of an driverless bus was already launched, the only role of the driver in this test was in the application of brakes. In the period from March to April 2017, more than 100 tests were conducted, none of them showed a negative result, serious problems and accidents were also absent.
The next stage of work for Japanese experts is an attempt to introduce autonomous transport in the busiest sections of the route.