Hino Motors looking to develop autonomous delivery robots

Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota, is reportedly looking to develop autonomous delivery vehicles in partnership with other vehicle manufacturers.

The Japan Times published an article earlier this week, where Hino’s President Yoshio Shimo said that Hino is looking to form partnerships with overseas auto makers. This project would be to address the shortage of parcel delivery drivers in Japan.

“We won’t be able to survive by solely learning from Toyota in the changing commercial vehicle industry,” Shimo said. “We must search for new partners as a manufacturer specializing in trucks.”

The Japan Times also quoted Shimo as saying that he was confident technological hurdles can be overcome to introduce delivery services using unmanned trucks.

While Japan is arguably the world’s leading country in terms of robotics, the Silicon Valley firm Starship Technologies has taken the world by storm with its overland delivery robots. There is certainly the brains and ability in Japan to develop such vehicles and Hino taking steps to fast track the development of such systems for a clear gap in the Japanese market could help drive the concept into working reality very quickly. This could be a good move for a company that spots the opportunity.

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