The National Police Agency on Thursday unveiled draft rules for testing driverless vehicles on public roads while the vehicles are being monitored remotely.

At present no vehicle can proceed along a public road without someone in the driver's seat. Once the rules are officially in place, the agency will start accepting applications to conduct tests this summer, at the earliest.

Japan is seeking to promote the development of self-driving car technology in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics amid an international race to develop autonomous vehicles.