Rakuten to test autonomous delivery robots in Japan

A Japanese collective including Yamato Transport and Rakuten will partner with the Japanese government in a road test of autonomous delivery robots.

A government-appointed team will monitor the testing to identify potential issues, with a special focus on safety concerns, as well as considering new operating rules for inclusion in the Road Traffic Act. The team includes representatives from Mitsubishi Estate, Japan Post, Panasonic and self-driving tech firm ZMP, as well as officials from the National Police Agency, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and local governments.

Japan’s logistics sector, under pressure from burgeoning online sales, is currently experiencing a shortage in labour that could be answered with robot delivery units equipped with cameras and GPS capabilities, giving rise to industrial opportunities for robotic systems developers.

The tests are expected to be wound up by March next year.


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