Japan wants to implement automated driving lanes nationally.

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In order to facilitate the general adoption of level 4 autonomous driving, the Japanese government will install dedicated and priority lanes in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, Nikkei has discovered. This will mark the first time in Japan that autonomous car lanes will be installed on a public road.
Once their safety is verified, the government plans to implement such lanes countrywide in an effort to address the scarcity of truck and bus drivers.

International standards define autonomous driving as having five levels. Level 1 is the lowest and includes driver aid features like automated braking. Level 5 driving is completely automated.

Government intentions to install automated driving lanes on major thoroughfares like the Shin-Tomei Expressway have already been made public. A plan to put the system in place on a public road in Hitachi will be presented at a planning meeting on Friday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. By the year's end, a detailed plan will be ready.

The route, which extends for many kilometers from Hitachi City's JR Omika station, will be converted into an autonomous driving lane by the government. Existing roads will have sensors and cameras placed to track the movement of automobiles and pedestrians. Additionally, the technology will be able to react to traffic signals.

The primary system operator will be the bus business Michinori Holdings. Prior to now, the business tested automatic driving in Hitachi utilizing a BRT system. The company operated a vehicle that was based on an Isuzu bus and built to run without a driver. For the new lanes, the same kind of vehicle may be used. The lanes' designation as priority lanes or lanes for self-driving vehicles will be decided later.

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