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Transport ministry considers autonomous lanes to ease freight crisis

The Ministry of Transport is considering introducing automated freight routes connecting cities such as Tokyo and Osaka for freight transport. It is expected that this could reduce traffic congestion by 35,000 vehicles per day and provide a solution to the acute shortage of drivers in the freight sector.

Such lanes would allow the transport of small packages with driverless carts. Preparations for a test drive in a limited area and for a certain period will begin soon, with the aim of implementing routes within the next 10 years.

Highway companies have proposed building automated cargo lanes on the median or sides of highways, or underground. The companies have also provided details on the technical feasibility of such lanes, said Yuri Endo, an official at the ministry’s highway agency.

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