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Japan's robotics startup ZMP Inc hopes to list in coming months - CEO
February 3, 2017 / 4:16 AM / in 10 months

Japan's robotics startup ZMP Inc hopes to list in coming months - CEO

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese robotics startup ZMP Inc hopes to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the coming months, after a delay late last year due to client information being leaked on to the internet, the firm’s founder and CEO told Reuters on Friday.

A ZMP logo on its RoboCar is pictured during its demonstration in Tokyo, Japan, January 31, 2017. Picture taken on January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Despite the delay in its initial public offering, worth up to $82 million, ZMP remained on track to develop a self-driving taxi in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, CEO Hisashi Taniguchi said.

The company was ironing out internal security issues after it discovered some client information had been leaked to the public days ahead of its listing, Taniguchi said.

“We’re developing our security systems in-house, which will take some time, but this is not the sort of thing that takes a year to develop,” he said.

“When we’re happy with our security system, then we’ll re-submit our listing application.”

Taniguchi said ZMP will push ahead with developing self-driving taxis, despite losing its partnership last month with gaming software developer DeNA Co. DeNA paired up instead with Nissan Motor Co to develop services for autonomous driving cars.

“At the moment our (taxi) plans are on track. We started testing on public roads last year, so we don’t want to rush anything,” he said.

ZMP has developed an automated driving system based on laser and stereo cameras, which it plans to use in fleet vehicles and also sell to automakers and mobility service providers.

In a country famous as much for its auto industry as its fascination with robots, ZMP is one of a few domestic start-ups developing self-driving cars to compete against foreign firms including nuTonomy in the United States and China’s Future Mobility.

ZMP also makes drones and automated dolly carts.

($1 = 112.6300 yen)

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Randy Fabi

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