Japan testing delivery robots and drones

Facing an acute driver shortage in Japan, logistics giant Yamato Transport and Rakuten are reported to be among a group of companies looking at testing unmanned delivery robots on public roads alongside the Japanese government.

Local media reports suggest that the Japanese government has set up a council from public and private sectors to look at the operational and legal issues surrounding the use of delivery robots. Road traffic laws may need to be amended too. Council members will reportedly include officials from Mitsubishi Estate, Japan Post, Panasonic and ZMP, a Tokyo self-driving technology company.

The public road delivery robot tests are set to be completed by March next year.

Along with the ground based delivery robots, Rakuten and other firms are looking at using delivery drones too. Last Monday Rakuten announced plans to provide a drone delivery service to deliver products from the Seiyu LIVIN Yokosuka Store in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, to visitors to Sarushima, an island in Tokyo Bay and popular tourist spot. It is set to begin on 4 July and run until September.


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