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Nissan to put robo-taxis on road in 2018

07 December 2017

The two companies join a growing number of global auto makers and tech firms leveraging automated driving technology into new mobility services.

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

Global automakers are looking beyond making and selling cars to survive an industry which is being quickly transformed by new services, and a growing number including General Motors Co are applying their expertise in automated driving functions for mass-market cars to develop mobility services.

The auto giant has teamed up with Japanese firm DeNA, a gaming software company, to trial the self-driving vehicles on the streets of Yokohama over a two-week period, the news site says.

In partnership with DeNA Co., Ltd., Nissan Motor Company has been working since previous year on autonomous driving technology for the ridesharing service.

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Under their plan, customers can use a mobile app to call the robo-vehicle, set the required destination and pay the fare.

Customers of the driverless taxi service, which is being dubbed "Easy Ride", can select either a range of "recommended destinations" or "sightseeing routes" in the Yokohama area, says the Financial Times.

A multi-lingual version of the app in under development including a system that will monitor riders and the vehicle to ensure utmost safety. It is testing its self driven ride hailing service.

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.

Nissan to put robo-taxis on road in 2018