Abe rides around Tokyo in self-driving vehicles

Picture expired. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves during a test drive of Japanese auto maker Nissan Motor's autonomous vehicle in Tokyo on Saturday. AFP

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  • -1

    ohayo206

    The future is now.

  • 5

    Novenachama

    A legitimate question is how the insurance industry will decide how to assign the liability and responsibility for an accident if an inanimate object rather than a human being is driving. In other words what if the self-driving automobile is caught speeding or violating other traffic laws then who are laws enforced on.

  • 6

    SenseNotSoCommon

    “I really felt proud that Japanese technology is the world’s best,”

    at catching up with Google

  • 2

    toshiko

    Isn't it the insurance business destroyer car? The one that does bot crush> Goin keft, rught or slow if the car in fron go slow and the car in fron go fast, it keep same distance?

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Nissaan rescued and now owned by the French, (how is that Japanese?)

    It's Japanese because: 1) it's not owned by the French 2) it is owned by the Japanese 3) the world headquarters is in Yokohama

    Please let me know if I can clear this up any further.

  • 6

    No Miso

    @spuds - some more info :Nissan provide OEM cars to Renault for resale under the Renault Brand. Don't think it happens the other way around. Something to do with quality I thought. Can't think of many cars with the Maryland brand. Toyota are excellent at applying forward thinking into practical everyday cars, and people buy them. GM, Ford, etc rely on patriotism for their sales. Guess who builds the better cars?

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    I can hardly wait to drive it. Japan really needs to push this technology ASAP as this will help US seniors to stay independent longer. I am one of them. This will bring some changes in US retirement plan. The market is HUGE.

  • 3

    Nessie

    A metaphor for Japanese politics?

  • 3

    CrazyJoe

    Ninety percent of accidents are said to be caused by human error. This will certainly reduce the number of accidents as well as reduce exhaust gas emissions, less traffic congestion and save energy.

  • 5

    darknuts

    I can hardly wait to drive it.

    You won't be driving it. That's the point.

  • 2

    SenseNotSoCommon

    Certainly no fan of Google, but less a fan of this superiority myth.

    Yes, Japan is great at tech. Where we fail to set the world alight is that we lack the startup culture that looks at global customers' needs, produces truly disruptive innovation, and aggressively monetizes it.

    You sleepwalk if you want, Shinzo. Your country deserves better.

  • 2

    No Miso

    I went to Avis self drive rent-a-car and the one I had did absolutely NOTHING by itself. I had to do all the driving. Pathetic.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    darknutsNov. 10, 2013 - 09:03AM JST

    I can hardly wait to drive it.

    You won't be driving it. That's the point.

    Just sit and go? I will not be too comfortable in speed of 70 miles/hr. on busy 6 lane Interstate freeway. Oh dear.....scary. Do I want that? hmmm, I am not sure now.

  • 1

    Get Real

    Why's there a bloke in the driving seat if he's so proud etc?

  • -2

    some14some

    I saw it on tv news, Abe was looking very nervous though.

  • -1

    Strangerland

    Are you suggesting they should have done their first ever real-road test in Japan without someone in the driver's seat as a safety back-up?

  • 1

    Get Real

    Are you suggesting they should have done their first ever real-road test in Japan without someone in the driver's seat as a safety back-up?

    Their first ever? Wow, Abe really is a (test) dummy!

  • -4

    Strangerland

    It was the first time that auto-piloting vehicles have run on ordinary roads in Japan.

  • -1

    toshiko

    Brake: because you want to park somewhere instead of your car follows someone's car until other car stops.

  • -2

    Cortes Elijah

    Get RealNOV. 10, 2013 - 09:37AM JST Why's there a bloke in the driving seat if he's so proud etc?

    Good eyes. Yeah...automated my ass. lol.

  • 0

    genjuro

    I'd like to see Abe in a DeLorean.

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Cheaper taxis?

  • -7

    Frungy

    StrangerlandNov. 10, 2013 - 08:20AM JST It's Japanese because: 1) it's not owned by the French 2) it is owned by the Japanese 3) the world headquarters is in Yokohama

    You're mistaken. Huge multinational companies like Nissan don't have a nationality. It is not "owned" by the Japanese, in fact NONE of the top 5 stock holders are Japanese, and Nissan Motors (NSANY) is listed on the NASDAQ. Where the world headquarters are is frankly irrelevant. Many multinationals maintain a nominal headquarters in whichever country offers them the best tax breaks.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    A company formed in Japan, almost exclusively Japanese staff, with headquarters in Japan, listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, and it's not Japanese? Yeah, right

    Baffling.

  • 1

    KnowBetter

    I won't trust cars driven by computers for at least another 20 years. As it is today, far too many WELL trained people already trust technology far too much and don't question it until it's obvious that there is something wrong and end up in a crash (i.e. Asian 777 crash at San Francisco). Sure that was an aircraft but just think about how long aircraft have been around that can land themselves... don't have a clue? It's been over 30 years that airliners have been capable of doing that and yet failures still happen because the person who could have done something trusted the technology and didn't second guess it. So how will this automated car really make it any different if we still have to be 'babysitting' it 'just in case the technology fails'?! It that really automated? Will you really be relaxed and not paying attention when the car drives its self?

  • -2

    scoobydoo

    The car runs better than the Govt so there is merit in auto pilots.

  • 1

    Get Real

    Abe 'test-piloted' (coughs) the Leaf because Nissan is Japanese.

    People buy Nissan, (and therefore Ghosn chose to continue headquartering Nissan in high corporate tax Japan) for precisely this reason.

  • -2

    Strangerland

    Good luck trying to find people to agree it's not Japanese. It's anyone's right to think it's not, but the rest of the world is not going to agree with you.

  • -2

    Serrano

    This reminds me of Total Recall:

    Quaid gets into a Johnnycab to escape from killers:

    Johnnycab: Please state the street and number.

    Quaid: Drive! Drive!

    Johnnycab: I am not familiar with that address Would you please repeat the destination?

    Quaid: Anywhere, just go! Go!

    Johnnycab: I am not familiar with that address. Please repeat the destination.

    The killers are closing in...

    Quaid: Sht! Sht!

  • 0

    el

    Did this reporter actually attend the event? Abe did not "test-pilot" the car, he was in the rider's seat the whole time.

  • 0

    toshiko

    Do you guys remember Kit in a TV series? The car is smart and talks. This Nissan car does not talk but self driving.

  • -2

    presto345

    Self driving cars on Japanese roads without proper separation of motor traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists, tricyclists, geriatric vehicles and you name it, I don't think that future has arrived.

  • 0

    toshiko

    @presto345: I agree with you, I was watching News of Las Vegas area. It showed flying car I did not give attention first, so I don;t know which car maker did but car makers in USA (majority are Japan Inc,) seems to get ideas from TV series.

  • 0

    shallots

    Automatons! The machines certainly have the life to be envied. There are little perks to being human, like having an automatic toilet bowl washing the dirty bits. But the machines don't have to feel at all. That's where it's really it. We are making progress though.

  • 0

    taj

    “I really felt proud that Japanese technology is the world’s best,”

    But isn't Germany all ready pretty far ahead with testing self-driving cars on the motorways? And isn't it mostly international component and systems makers trying to sell this tech into the big Japan companies, who are in catch-up mode?

    Abe is such a nationalist child. Never had a job. Grew up in a family of professional politicians. Knows nothing of the real world.

  • 0

    yokohamarides

    uh - oh.

    Mazda CX-5 with "Smart" automatic brakes crashes during test drive - passengers injured

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20131111/OEM06/131119997/mazda-cx-5-with-automatic-brakes-crashes-during-test-drive-japanese#ixzz2kOgkQ3pj

  • 0

    Bartholomew Harte

    People Don't drive today- They Text,talk on the phone,do their nails, but maybe there is hope for these types of idiots who recklessly run amok after all!- RIKSHAWS!

  • 0

    toshiko

    Abe is sitting on left. The car is for USA? Wide roads and freeways.

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