Japan vows to make 12 million software-defined vehicles by 2030

Chiang, Jen-Chieh, Taipei; Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Japan is trying to catch up with the US and China in the Software-Defined Vehicle (SDV) segment.

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced a draft of the country's automotive digital transformation strategies on May 20. As battery EVs and premium cars evolve toward SDVs, Japan aims to account for 30% of the 35 million to 41 million global SDV sales in 2030, about 11 million to 12 million units.

The Japanese government also targets 17 million to 19 million SDVs by 2035 when the vehicle becomes prevalent. This target means Japan-based automakers will take up 30% of global SDV sales, between 57 million and 64 million cars.

To reach the first-phase goal by 2030, Japan will have to accelerate R&D speed and the update of automotive architecture, including the R&D of car SoCs and LiDARs, and applications of Generative AI (GenAI).

According to the draft, Japan must establish SDV R&D and verification environments and critical technologies around 2027 to lay the foundation for global competition. Other SDV-related targets comprise the modification and experiments about self-driving trucks and the support for robotaxi's R&D and service verification.

Japan plans to launch autonomous trucks and robotaxis services at 50 locations within the country by the end of March 2026 and increase the number to over 100 two years later.

Multiple government funds will subsidize the above plans. About JPY1 billion (US$6.4 million) of the Post-5G fund, which has accumulated JPY485 billion (US$3.1 billion), will be allocated to the Advanced SoC Research for Automotive (ASRA) to develop chiplet-based advanced automotive SoCs by 2028. ASRA has gathered 14 Japan-based enterprises, including Toyota, Renesas, and Denso.

According to Nikkei and Sankei, in response to the Japanese government's call, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda intend to collaborate on software and other next-generation technologies to spur SDV development.