Robot Taxi brings self-driving cars to Japan
The end goal of the connected car is autnomous driving as a way to reinvent the way people get around; but, it’s clear there’s a long runway before widespread consumer adoption. However, certain niche aspects of transportation could realize the efficiencies associated with autonomous driving long before every car the road is driving itself.
Japanese firm DeNA, perhaps better known for its work in mobile gaming platforms, particularly its partnership with Nintendo to bring the game giant’s properties to your smartphone, wants to begin texting its Robot Taxi vehicles on the streets of Fujisawa, Japan, on the coast not far from Tokyo, beginning in March.
The end goal is to have the Robot Taxi fleet tested and road-ready in time for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Initially, Robot Taxi will pick up residents from their homes and take them on a short trip to the supermarket, according to reports.
“This time, the robot taxi experiment will be conducted on actual city streets. I think this is quite amazing,” Kanagawa Prefecture Governor Yuji Kuroiwa said, according to the Japan Times.
Kanagawa MP Shinjiro Koizumi said, “There are a lot of people who say [autonomous driving vehicles] are impossible. But I think this will happen faster than people expect.”