DeNA, Nissan to Begin Road Tests of Self-Driving Taxis in Japan


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Japanese software maker DeNA Co and Nissan Motor announced that they will commence public testing their self-driving car services in Japan by 2018.

The two companies confirmed that they will hold public tests, which they plan to implement in Yokohama by March. During the test, riders will use the technology or app created by DeNA to call on self-driving Nissan Leaf electric cars. Then, the cars will travel according to the pre-mapped destinations and with varying pay fares.

Although the duo has started field tests of their Easy Ride system since the collaboration earlier in 2017, the road test in Japan will clarify their goal of launching a ride-sharing service in the country.

DeNA and Nissan will be facing a tough competition from another robotic maker in Japan, ZMP Inc. which has previously revealed working with a taxi operator in Japan to develop a ride-hailing service. ZMP even announced that they wanted the app to be available during the 2020 Olympics to be held in Japan.

Different global automakers are trying to look beyond just selling or making cars in order to survive the industry. General Motors Co, for instance, also applied their expertise in an automated car driving.

DeNA has been testing its self-driving services in Japan, including the use of shuttle buses for elderly people in the rural communities.