Self-driving buses are moving closer to becoming a fixture of Japanese life with a Cabinet Office trial to test one of the vehicles on a public road in heavily congested Okinawa Prefecture.
The bus uses signals from the quasi-zenith satellite Michibiki, which is expected to serve as the Japanese version of GPS.
The experiment, which started on Oct. 31 and will continue until mid-December, is collecting data on safety and other areas.
As Naha and other areas in Okinawa suffer from heavy traffic jams, a plan is being considered to introduce self-driving buses in the prefecture under the Okinawa Advanced Rapid Transit system.
The trial is under way on a 10-kilometer road connecting Ginowan and Kita-Nakagusuku.
The small 22-passenger bus runs on the section at a maximum speed of 40 kph, combining signals from Michibiki, which is said can reduce the margin of error to 12 centimeters, with information based on a 3-D map.
The self-driving …