Japan to promote 'Software Defined Vehicles'

The Japanese government has announced a draft strategy to promote the manufacture of cars that are heavily controlled by software rather than hardware. These are known as so-called "software-defined vehicles", or SDVs.

The proposed target is for domestic manufacturers to have 30 percent of the SDV global market by 2030.

Owners of such cars can extensively upgrade and customize them through remote software updates, including driving performance and safety functions. The technology can extend a vehicle's lifespan.

The government wants to encourage cooperation among domestic manufacturers in research and development of sophisticated semiconductors for cars, as well as software standardization.

Officials also aim to assist in the development of self-driving trucks and taxis.

The global auto industry is experiencing rapid changes shaped by advancements in electric vehicles and self-driving technologies. Japanese carmakers are trailing Tesla and other rivals, including Chinese firms, in the SDV field.

A Tokyo-based startup is one of those that's running ahead of major manufacturers. It aims to put 10,000 self-driving vehicles a year on the market by 2030.

Aoki Shunsuke, CTO of Turing said that their slogan is "We will overtake Tesla and defeat Tesla." He added that he believed Japan could still win in the field of industrial products and he wanted to release products from Japan that can be used around the world.

Japan plans to set up a framework this fall on the issue that will bring together people from industry, academia, and the government.