Nissan to begin field tests for 'robo-taxis' in Japan

Alfred Osborne
Декабря 7, 2017

Nissan will begin public tests of its all-electric, driverless "robo-taxi" on Japanese roads from March next year, BBC News reports.

This initial testing will take place over a 2-week period in the city of Yokohama in March 2018 - whereby riders or pilot participants will be able to use an app developed by DeNA to call for a self-driving Nissan LEAF taxi to pick them up, and then to deliver them to any number of pre-mapped destinations in the city.

In partnership with DeNA Co., Ltd., Nissan Motor Company has been working since previous year on autonomous driving technology for the ridesharing service.

Nissan plans to combine its Intelligent Mobility vision with DeNA's experience in developing and operating driverless mobility services for the development of new Easy Ride brand.

Nissan joins a growing band of carmakers trialling self-drive cars, including General Motors and Volvo. Customers can use a mobile app to complete the total process ranging from setting destinations and mobilizing vehicles to pay the fee.

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The duo, which have been conducting field tests of their "Easy Ride" system since joining hands earlier this year, said the tests were the first step towards their goal of launching a full-service, self-driving ride-sharing service in the country in the early 2020s.

Customers can also select recommended local destinations and sightseeing routes depending on their objectives.

In Japan, Nissan and DeNA will face competition from Japanese robotics maker ZMP Inc, which is working with a Tokyo taxi operator to develop a self-driving taxi service it hopes to have up and running during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Nissan and DeNA aim to provide the service as a new infrastructure option that supplements existing transportation.

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