Nissan to launch its self-driving taxi service in Japan next year

Marco Green
December 7, 2017

Japan will see a self-driving vehicle service by 2020, called "Easy Ride" the service is powered by Nissan and a technology company DeNa.

The world's eyes will be on Tokyo during the 2020 Olympics, so it's little wonder Japanese auto giants such as Nissan and Toyota are working flat out to get their self-driving technology ready in time for the sporting extravaganza.

The taxis will be based on the current generation of Nissan's Leaf electric vehicle, rather than the updated model due out in 2018, and will feature a host of "cameras and sensors" to prevent collisions, the website says. An earlier version of the technology was tested in London at the start of 2017. 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.

While companies continue to pursue development of safe self-driving functions which can ferry riders to their destination of choice, they also face regulatory hurdles, as most global jurisdictions do not expressly authorize vehicles to operate on regular roads without a driver.

Driverless taxi services like the one Nissan is interested in have emerged as the main focus of companies developing self-driving cars, with GM, for example, recently unveiling a bold plan to introduce robot taxis to cities across the U.S.in a bid to boost revenue.

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.

The new model of the electric vehicle will be launched in the USA in all the 50 states, early next year.

DeNA canceled its partnership with Japanese startup ZMP to join Nissan in the project.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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