• Japan Invests in Autonomous Cars to Aide Aging Population
  • January 25, 2016
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • Japan has announced heavy investment in autonomous cars in recent years as a means to address concerns presented by its aging population. The Japanese government has allocated 2 billion yen ($16.3 million) a year to develop maps and other technologies in a push to roll out fully automated driving by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympics. Japan’s investment in autonomous vehicles is in part fueled by the need to keep Japan’s aging population mobile and in the workforce. In Japan, one in four people are 65 or older, compared with 15 percent in the United States and 8 percent worldwide. Global automakers have been researching driverless cars for decades, but have stepped up efforts as nontraditional companies like Google have made significant developments in autonomous vehicle technology. Some believe the Japanese government’s backing could smooth regulatory challenges and allow Japan to be first to market with autonomous cars.