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Automakers in Japan, where almost 30% of the population is 65 or older, are taking the lead on adapting cars so the nation’s legions of older drivers can feel more confident — and be safer — behind the wheel.

A run of accidents involving older drivers has upped the pressure from regulators to standardize advanced features. Automatic brakes will be required for all new vehicles sold domestically from this year, for example, and car companies from Toyota Motor Corp. to Nissan Motor Co. are employing smart technology to make cars more user friendly for older people.

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