Japan prepares ‘Super City’ for artificial intelligence, self-driving cars

Japan has plans to build an experimental “Super City” where scientists can test out the latest artificial intelligence and put driverless cars on the road.

The Japanese government is supporting the construction of a city built for artificial intelligence, according to multiple press reports. File Photo by Christopher Jue/EPA
The Japanese government is supporting the construction of a city built for artificial intelligence, according to multiple press reports. File Photo by Christopher Jue/EPA

NHK reported Thursday plans are underway for the future city, where under state supervision regulatory reforms can be carried out away from major population centers.
Artificial intelligence and other next-generation technology are at the focus of Japan’s new growth strategy.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday at a conference in Kyoto the need to support technological innovation is of the highest priority, if Japan is to stay competitive internationally.

Satsuki Katayama, one of Abe’s ministers, has also said a new “special zone” is needed to realize artificial intelligence and take advantage of innovations like “big data” in Japan, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Thursday.

The Japanese government plans to use the Chinese city of Hangzhou as a model for the future city, where self-driving cars will be tested on new roads.

Japan’s plan for its super city will include tests of cashless payments at retail locations, telemedicine, and other technologies that are expected to bring significant transformations to daily life.

Tokyo is also expected to ease regulations on foreign firms so they may access the site and test their technologies in Japan.

More announcements on technology policy are expected to be made in the coming months, according to reports.

ByElizabeth Shim