Business

Japan to push for global standards on automatic braking technology in cars

Kyodo

The transport ministry said Japan will open discussions with other members of a U.N. working group on drafting international safety standards for automatic brakes in cars.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry aims to eventually make automatic brakes mandatory in all cars in Japan to curb accidents.

The discussions at the U.N. panel — which Japan proposed establishing last month — will enter full swing in the fall and might wrap up in around a year, ministry officials said Friday.

If international standards are compiled, the ministry intends to reflect the them in Japanese law and require carmakers to install automatic braking systems that meet the standards in its cars, the officials said. Global safety standards for automatic braking systems have already been set for buses and trucks.

Hopes are high in the Japanese auto industry that unifying the standards will make it easier to sell cars in Europe and elsewhere.

In Japan, 45 percent of the cars produced in 2015 were equipped with automatic braking technology, but there is concern about the quality of the differing systems that could be resolved by adopting common standards.

Of all fatal traffic accidents caused by drivers 75 and over in 2015, 29 percent were attributed to driver error, including the use of brakes, according to the National Police Agency.

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