Nissan, DeNA unveil Easy Ride robo-vehicle mobility service in Japan

Nissan to Test Self Driving Taxis in Japan come March 2018

That's a trip many of us would like to take but only a select few can experience through Nissan's public field test of new robo-vehicle mobility service, Easy Ride.

The two partners didn't reveal details, but is seems that the jointly developed service will rely on self-driving, fully autonomous electric cars. It is set for a public field test in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan between 5 March and 18 March 2018.

Based on the objectives, customers can choose recommended local destinations and sightseeing routes.

Semi-autonomous driving features such as single-lane diving and auto parking are features that have already been incorporated by Nissan in its Japanese models of its Serena minivan, the X-Trail SUV and the new Leaf electric vehicle. 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. Nissan and DeNA plan to support multiple languages and to use a remote monitoring system to ensure customer safety.

Nissan said on Tuesday it would begin field tests for driverless "robot taxis" early next year as its rivals around the world step up self-driving technologies. The companies will recruit participants for the March field test until 15 January through the Easy Ride website.

Elsewhere, DeNA has also been working on the rollout of self-driving shuttle buses in ritual communities - with the idea being that such services could be used to provide transportation for elderly residents in such locations. With customers able to discover new local destinations through Easy Ride, the companies expect the service will also help energise cities and neighbourhoods.

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