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METI encourages joint research in auto technologies to set global standards

  • October 23, 2016
  • , Nikkei , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is encouraging automakers to engage in joint research on software and safety technologies used in motor vehicles and has set up a new office to coordinate such collaboration. International competition is heightening today in areas like self-driving technology, and METI is supporting domestic automakers in joining hands with each other to create technologies that will become global standards.


To date, there has been a strong tendency among automakers to conduct their own R&D at entirely their own expense, and partnerships with other companies have been rare. Manufacturers have been concerned that jointly developing technologies that lead to differentiation with other companies’ products could result in cartels.


METI is considering designating those self-driving technologies that are very likely to become common standards as “fields for collaboration.” Moreover, it is recommending that automakers conduct joint research in these fields.


METI recently created an “auto parts and software industry office” in the Automobile Division of its Manufacturing Industries Bureau. The office has launched an interview survey of automakers to find out which areas they would be open to collaborating in.


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