June 3, 2019 / 6:38 AM / a month ago

SoftBank to launch service to help power self-driving buses, farm machinery

SoftBank Corp. placard is prepared during a ceremony to mark the company's debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Corp said on Monday it will launch a service that uses satellite navigation data and its network of mobile base stations to help power self-driving buses, drones and farm machinery.

The service, which will begin trials in Japan next month before expanding nationwide in November, aims to provide centimeter-level positioning to the autonomous tech that is beginning to be introduced across a range of industries, the company said in a statement.

Kajima Corp, one of Japan’s big four construction firms, will trial the service with construction site monitoring drones. SoftBank’s own SB Drive, which is developing self-driving tech for buses, will also run trials.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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