Aside from being a great showcase of the world's best athletes at their prime, Japan's Summer Olympics are shaping up to be a great place to see the latest in driverless technology.
Next July, as Tokyo prepares for the Summer Olympics to begin, the city will have dozens of self-driving vehicles roaming freely near the venues for the iconic athletics tournament.
Japan hopes to promote the technology by taking advantage of the huge worldwide attention drawn by the Olympics.
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Thousands traveling driverless
The cars will be let loose in the city's waterfront area where the competition will be held.
As reported by The Japan Times, as many as 100 self-driving cars will carry as many as 7,000 passengers in the week starting July 6. This is according to Seigo Kuzumaki, director for the government’s autonomous-vehicle program, who is overseeing the operation.
Japan will let driverless cars roam freely ahead of 2020 Olympics https://t.co/yI7jx3CrfWpic.twitter.com/EcblB3nRvj— Automotive News (@Automotive_News) September 5, 2019
Iconic Japanese car manufacturers Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., as well as local parts manufacturers and startups, will participate in the event, according to Kuzumaki.
Japan's biggest autonomous-vehicle trial
This will be Japan's largest autonomous vehicle trial to date, according to The Japan Times, and will be aimed at showcasing the country's strengths in driverless technologies.
Starting next month, a series of tests will be held on public roads in Tokyo, using cars from 28 companies and institutions. Japan has officially stated that it wants fully autonomous vehicles to be on the market by 2025.
Aside from more traditional-looking cars, Toyota will also deploy a dozen smaller robot vehicles that will run a continuous loop inside the Olympic and Paralympic Village to shuttle athletes and staff members.
The futuristic self-driving Toyota vehicle, Concept-i, will also accompany torch relay runners.
The Concept-i uses artificial intelligence technology to continually learn and become better, and safer on the road.