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Japan to try robo-taxis on its roads by Nissan

Japan to try robo-taxis on its roads by Nissan. As carmaker Nissan is planning to test self-driving taxis on Japanese roads from March next year.

Nissan is partnering with DeNA, a Japanese software company, which operates online services for the gaming, healthcare and automotive industries.

It will adapt a Nissan Leaf electric car, which passengers will book using an app.

With this initiative Nissan joins a growing band of carmakers trialling self-drive cars, including General Motors and Volvo.

There will be free trials over a two-week period in March in Yokohama of these cars.

As per the announcement, The Easy Ride system could be launched in Japan in the early 2020s.

The carmaker said in a statement, “With more freedom of mobility as its concept, Easy Ride is envisioned as a service for anyone who wants to travel freely to their destination of choice in a robo-vehicle.”

The company added, “The goal is to allow customers to use a dedicated mobile app to complete the whole process, from setting destinations and summoning vehicles to paying the fare.”

During tests, there will be a staff member in the driver’s seat to comply with Japanese law. Customers can apply from now until 15 January, and can select local destinations and sightseeing routes.

ZMP, a Japanese robotics maker is working with a Tokyo taxi operator to develop self-driving taxis for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

On the other hand, Waymo, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, is planning to test autonomous cars with no human safety driver.