According to The Asahi Shimbun, Honda Motor Co. plans to begin a driverless taxi service in central Tokyo in 2026 under a joint venture with General Motors of the United States.
Initially, several dozen self-driving taxis will be introduced, rising to 500 in phases, according to Honda’s announcement recently.
It will mark the first commercial unmanned cab system in Japan by a leading automaker.
The envisioned autonomous vehicle will be able to accommodate up to six passengers as no driver’s seat is needed.
The cab is expected to operate under a Level 4 self-driving category, which requires all processes to be automated in specific areas or under specific circumstances.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the Reserve Bank’s 13th cash rate increase this cycle will dent the pace of price growth but not trigger a decline in housing prices in a vastly undersupplied market, economist said.
The RBA’s decision to raise the cash rate – as widely expected – by 0.25 percentage points to 4.35 per cent would likely prompt a pause in the pace of dwelling price growth as the country had seen after the first increases in May last year, but it would not last, PEXA chief economist Julie Toth said.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, an odor-sniffing machine that shows the freshness of fish is expected to further the popularity of sushi and sashimi overseas.
The portable device detects a smell associated with early decomposition. The aroma is a subtle one, and not the stinky ammonia that rotten fish is known for.
The project aims to establish technology to “measure freshness quickly, on site, and in a non-destructive manner,” said Toshio Ito, a senior researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, better known as AIST.
The device was created by scientists from AIST and the Hokkaido Industrial Technology Center.
According to The Jiji News, Osaka Gas Co. said that it will set up a research and development base for decarbonization in Osaka, western Japan, planning to complete construction in July 2025.
At the facility in the city's waterfront area, Osaka Gas aims to establish the technology called solid oxide electrolysis cell, or SOEC, methanation to synthesize methane from water and carbon dioxide using a highly efficient water electrolysis technology.
According to The Carexpert.com, Toyota has chosen Australia as the first country in the world for a pilot program of its recently revealed HiAce Hydrogen prototype.
The pilot program will see seven examples of the Toyota Hydrogen HiAce prototype made available to fleet operators in Australia from later this month.
Each loan will be for a period of up to a month, with the fleet operator required to report daily on their experience.
Toyota has confirmed the first company to use the Hydrogen HiAce prototype will be CPB Contractors, which is one of Australia’s leading designers and builders of large-scale infrastructure.
According to The Nikkei Asia, a consortium of Japanese companies including Toyota Motor and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will team up with a domestic investment company to set up a fund to help develop Japan's hydrogen industry, seeking to bolster infrastructure related to production and storage.
The Japan Hydrogen Association, which has approximately 280 private sector company members, seeks to have the fund in operation by 2024. Domestic investment company Advantage Partners will be the main operator of the fund, the country's first dedicated to hydrogen investments.
The Japanese government estimates that its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 will require more than 150 trillion yen (around US$990 billion) in public and private funds over the next 10 years. Tokyo is only expected to shoulder about 20 trillion yen, leaving private money to cover the rest.
According to The Australian Financial Review, national home values rose by 0.9 per cent in October, accelerating slightly from the 0.7 per cent gain last month, and edging closer to full recovery from the recent downturn, CoreLogic’s home value index shows.
House prices across most of the capital cities also increased during the month, but the quarterly pace of growth had slowed substantially as downside risks emerged, said Tim Lawless, CoreLogic research director.
Over the past three months to October, home values across the combined capital cities lifted by 2.6 per cent, which is slower than the 3.7 per cent recorded over the June quarter.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. announced that it will offer a large-scale language model (LLM) to companies in March that will be the foundation for generative artificial intelligence learning Japanese.
By specializing in specific industries such as health care, the costs needed for the model to learn and operate can be reduced.
“We would like to position this LLM as a solution for social issues,” NTT President Akira Shimada said at a news conference.
NTT intends to compete with leading U.S. information technology giants through the offering.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese home owners will soon be able to plug their appliances more efficiently and at a lower cost into energy generated by solar power within households through a new Sharp Corp. operating system.
The electronics giant said that it will link its photovoltaic panels for home use with certain other products from November.
This will enable electric devices to adjust performance levels given estimates on power output. Energy production can be estimated with artificial intelligence technology based on weather reports with the goal of saving electricity.
It is reportedly the first system to connect home appliances to solar power generation in their operations.
According to the 7news, Toyota and Hyundai have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together alongside Ampol and Pacific Energy to develop hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Australia.
The announcement came on the back of a solid week of messaging from Toyota around its multi-approach strategy to decarbonisation at the Tokyo motor show.
The Japanese giant expects to head into the next decade and beyond with multiple bets across battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen, synthetic fuels as well as traditional internal-combustion engines.
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