Yoko Kubota:

Toyota Corp. on Thursday started selling a safety device that allows a car to communicate with other vehicles or traffic lights, part of an effort to change the perception that Japan trails Silicon Valley in driving technology.
 Separately, Tokyo-based Robot Taxi Inc. said it would work with authorities to start an experimental driverless taxi service next year, following in the path of Google Inc., which has been testing its self-driving cars on U.S. roads.
 As Silicon Valley competitors such as Google champion self-driving vehicles, many Japanese automotive executives have expressed caution, saying more time is needed to make fully autonomous cars feasible, and consumers might not want them.