New Vehicles For Aging, Shrinking Population

New vehicles for aging, shrinking population

Japanese engineers and industry officials have staged an event in Tokyo featuring ultra-small electric vehicles aimed at seniors. The move comes as the aging population has led to a rise in fatal accidents caused by elderly drivers.

The EVs have maximum speeds of about 60 kilometers per hour. Some are equipped with sensors that detect obstacles. Ministry officials say they may offer subsidies to help the spread of the vehicles.

Elsewhere in Tokyo, a subsidiary of telecom giant Softbank tested a driverless bus on a public road.

The bus can carry 11 passengers. It traveled along a 300-meter route at under 15 kilometers per hour, using GPS and sensors.

Officials say they developed the bus due to a shortage of drivers -- especially in rural areas. They plan to begin services by the end of March 2021.