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


As per the report, Yutaka Sanada, a Nissan senior vice president, said the firm is aiming to add autonomous-driving functions step-by-step, first allowing more cars to handle single-lane driving by themselves, and subsequently navigate urban roads, including intersections, by 2020.

Using Nissan's Intelligent Mobility vision, and data collected on electrified and connected vehicles, plus DeNA's expertise in the development and operation of driverless mobility services using the Internet and artificial intelligence, both companies are now ready to test their product on the roads of the Minatomirai district of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan from March 5, 2018, to March 18, 2018. An earlier version of the technology was tested in London at the start of 2017.

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 automaker has been working with local internet and software company DeNA since January this year to develop its driverless technology, which is fitted to modified models of Nissan's Leaf electric vehicle. DeNA canceled its partnership with Japanese startup ZMP to join Nissan in the project.

Automotive driverless technology has been a hot research and development project for auto makers and technology companies for some time now and is not only because of its emerging automotive industry, but also because the sophisticated robotics algorithms in driverless cars can better ensure that passengers and drivers avoid unnecessary traffic accidents while driving. The only thing the passenger needs to do is to select a destination.

It comments that one of the more interesting aspects of Nissan's test is that users will be able to not only specify exactly where they want to go, but also use general written queries like "I want to eat pancakes" and have the vehicle automatically choose a relevant destination. Nissan plan to have this service up and running in Yokohama by at least 2020, hoping for a completion of everything to pick-up and drop-off via mobile payment to having the option of taking the scenic route to your destination. Honda also has plans to launch a self-driving auto. Nissan's test is nothing new.

The partners plan to carry out a public field test of the new Easy Ride mobility service in March next year.

Let us know how comfortable you feel riding in a driverless taxi even if it's a Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S. Would you feel safe?