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.