With an aging population and a growing shortage of drivers, Japan is a country where autonomous transportation services would seem to have a bright future.

Demand is particularly high for self-driving trucks in regions with few alternatives to hauling freight by road, such as Hokkaido.

Among truck manufacturers, UD Trucks Corp., a Japanese unit of Sweden's AB Volvo, has teamed up with an agricultural cooperative in the northern prefecture that is increasingly concerned about the declining number of delivery truck drivers.