Nissan 'robo-taxi' taking to Japanese roads in March

Nissan 'robo-taxi' taking to Japanese roads in March

In Japan, Nissan models including the Serena minivan, the X-Trail SUV and the new Leaf electric vehicle are gaining popularity due to their semi-autonomous features including single-lane diving and auto parking, said Bloomberg.

Nissan, together with DeNA, unveiled the Easy Ride mobility service in Japan that will be launched in Yokohama in March 2018 to test robotaxis.

The project combines Nissan's Intelligent Mobility technology, which ensures the robot auto navigates roads safely, with DeNA's experience in developing and operating self-driving mobility services using its experience in artificial intelligence and the internet. Nissan will ask the general public to participate as passengers through a booking application on smartphones, said Kazumasa Fujita, a manager at Nissan's corporate strategy department.

A dedicated mobile app will enable customers to choose their destination, hail a vehicle, and pay for the ride all in one place.

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Customers can also select recommended local destinations and sightseeing routes depending on their objectives. Only time will tell whether there is any genuine cause for alarm in these trials, but Easy Ride will be monitored remotely, and support multiple languages for tourists in an effort to keep every user safe.

The companies, which began a technical field test using an autonomous vehicle this year, will recruit participants for the March field test until January.

In January 2017, both companies have collaborated to develop a new mobility based on an autonomous driving technology. Nissan said through such a new rental taxi mode, the city's public transport infrastructure will be greatly expanded, Easy Ride will effectively enhance the interaction between cities. It's noteworthy here, though, that the two companies have actually been performing field testing of their "Easy Ride" system since earlier this year. "With customers able to discover new local destinations through Easy Ride, the companies expect the service will also help energize cities and neighborhoods".

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