• Kyodo

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To further development of self-driving vehicles and other advanced technologies, Hino Motors Ltd. will seek partnerships with overseas firms, according to President Yoshio Shimo.

The development drive is part of efforts to address the shortage of drivers in parcel delivery services in Japan, Shimo said in an interview Wednesday with the media.

The Toyota Motor Corp. truck subsidiary, which has also studied self-driving technology with domestic rival Isuzu Motors Ltd., will seek alliances with European and other automakers to pursue cutting-edge technologies, Shimo, 58, said.

“We won’t be able to survive by solely learning from Toyota in the changing commercial vehicle industry,” he said.

“We must search for new partners as a manufacturer specializing in trucks,” he said.

Shimo was appointed president last month after serving as Toyota’s managing director responsible for partnership strategy.

For example, by pursuing the development of unmanned trucks that can follow manned vehicles, Shimo said his company can contribute to alleviating the delivery driver shortage. He said he was confident technological hurdles can be overcome to introduce delivery services using unmanned trucks.

Shimo also said Hino Motors plans to boost business overseas through maintenance and service provision following sales in Southeast Asia, while aiming to develop vehicles to suit local demand in North America.

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