18 May Revisions for safety of self-driving enacted
Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Diet enacted on Friday legislative revisions aimed at creating systems to ensure the safety of self-driving vehicles.
The revisions to the Road Transport Vehicle Law, approved unanimously by the House of Councillors at a plenary session, call for applying vehicle safety standards to self-driving equipment necessary to check the surroundings, including cameras and radars.
Under the revised law, special certification will be granted to auto safety inspection business operators capable of undertaking maintenance work for self-driving equipment.
The original law did not have provisions assuming that vehicles can be self-driving.
The revisions also require automakers to provide technical information needed for inspections of self-driving equipment.
For operations to update programs installed in automobiles through the internet and other means, a permit system will be created so that abuse can be prevented.
The legal revisions came at a time when the government aims to realize Level 3 self-driving, in which the driver controls the vehicle in emergencies, on expressways as early as 2020.
Also by around the same time, it plans to introduce Level 4 automated driving, which does not require a driver in the vehicle, for transportation services in limited places including sparsely populated areas.
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry plans to consider specific conditions under which self-driving equipment can be used, such as driving speeds, routes and weather conditions.