By Steve & Tamami Laser
Imagine a time in the not-too-distant future where a driverless electric car or van can take you effortlessly to the destination of your choice. For folks in Yokohama, Japan, the future begins in less than two weeks when Nissan and DeNA begin field tests of the Easy Ride robo-vehicle mobility service.
Nissan and DeNA (pronounced “D-N-A”) will employ prototype test vehicles like the autonomous electric Leaf and e-NV200 compact van in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama along a 4.5-kilomter test route that runs from Nissan’s global headquarters to the Yokohama World Porters mall.
This video offers a look at different scenarios for Easy Ride robo vehicles in the future, including transporting tourists from the airport to major attractions, to selecting a cake at a bakery for a local resident. (video: Nissan)
Thanks to a handy mobile app, riders can use text or voice to begin a search and select from recommended destinations. A tablet mounted inside the car (below) is said to offer some 500 places of interest and events in the test route area.
During the test, 40 discount coupons will be available for download on participant’s smartphones that can be used at restaurants or retailers along the route. Afterwards, participants will be asked to complete a survey about the Easy Ride experience to help fine-tune future field tests.
“For efficient fleet operation and customers’ peace of mind, Nissan and DeNA have set up a remote monitoring center that uses the two companies’ advanced technology,” says the automaker and its high-tech partner regarding the test route in Yokohama.
The team is engineering expanded service routes, vehicle distribution logic, pick-up/drop-off processes and multilingual support initially for a limited environment with the goal of launching a full-service Easy Ride campaign in the early 2020s.
DeNA operates and develops a wide array of mobile and online services such as games, e-commerce, entertainment, health care and automotive. With headquarters in Tokyo, DeNA’s aim is to “delight and impact the world through the use of the internet and AI.”
News source, photos and video courtesy Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and DeNA Co., Ltd.
Story © 2018 CarNichiWa.com