Nissan to launch robot-taxi service by 2020
Japanese car maker Nissan is counting on launching its commercial robot-taxi service ‘Easy Ride’ together with local partner DeNa by 2020, year of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. That was announced on Tuesday.
To AFP news agency a Nissan spokesman declared that “up to 2020 it will be launched first in limited numbers in a city that makes sense and where we’re authorized to do it”.
Japanese internet services company DeNA (pronounced “D-N-A”) develops mobile and online services including games, e-commerce, entertainment, healthcare, automotive and ‘other diversified online offerings’. DeNA is responsible for the taxi app, while Nissan provides its autonomous car knowledge and electric cars.
Nissan and DeNa, who are working on the project since January 2017, plan a real live test of two weeks in March 2018 with two cars being freely available for the general public in the district, which can reserved through a smartphone app.
40% of car industry revenue
With the test the two companies want to test the ‘acceptability’ by the general public of unmanned robot-taxis. A number of car manufacturers and tech companies from Google’s Waymo and Apple to Uber with even flying ones, are interested in autonomous taxis. A recent study by Roland Berger estimates by 2030 robot-taxis could represent 40% of the revenues of the car industry.