Officials say driverless cars are set to land in Pakistan in the coming years. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry told a private news channel about driverless cars in Pakistan earlier this week.
Driverless cars in Pakistan
He also said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government wants to introduce the latest technology in every field, including the automotive field. Chaudhry also said the PTI government wants to ensure that all Pakistanis understand the newest technologies. Additionally, he said Pakistan has the required infrastructure for this technology and that Google is close to the last testing stages for its self-driving car program.
He added that bringing driverless cars in Pakistan has already been part of the ministry’s plan. Chaudhry estimates that driverless technology could slash the number of vehicle deaths in Pakistan by 90%.
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Plans for self-driving cars are spreading
More and more companies and countries are announcing plans for driverless cars. This week Japanese officials said they will allow up to 100 self-driving cars to transport up to 7,000 passengers in the seven days before the 2020 Summer Olympics. Toyota and Nissan are both said to be participating, as are some startups and parts manufacturers, Bloomberg reports. Japan is set to start testing self-driving vehicles on public roads next month and aims to have fully autonomous vehicles available for purchase starting in 2025.
Navigation company TomTom also has its eye on the self-driving vehicle niche. The company was once the leading name for in-car navigation, but smartphones with Google Maps have unseated it. Now TomTom has been building high-definition maps for autonomous cars. The company’s plan is to differentiate itself with an ad-free business model, unlike Google, which collects more information to use for advertising purposes than what it hands out.
High-definition maps are designed to include every lane, the edges of every road, and every pole or other permanent object a car’s cameras capture. The maps will enable self-driving vehicles to figure out which stoplight to turn at when there are several in quick succession and drive within posted speed limits even without being able to see a speed limit sign, according to Bloomberg.