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Japan govt to allow testing of self-driving cars from FY2017: source

A staff member of Toyota Motor Corp drives its self-driving technology "Mobility Teammate Concept" prototype car hands-free on the Metropolitan Expressway during the Toyota Advanced Technologies media preview in Tokyo, Japan, in this Oct 8, 2015 file photo.

[TOKYO] Japan's government will ease regulations to allow for self-driving cars to be tested on public roads from fiscal 2017 with the aim of companies providing the service for the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo, a government source said on Thursday.

The government also plans to ease restrictions on small drones, the source said, to encourage more innovation in the private sector.

The government will announce the proposal at a meeting later on Thursday between cabinet ministers and private sector companies, said the source, who declined to be identified because the plans have not been finalised yet.