Nissan Easy Ride Autonomous Driving Taxis
We’re all imagining a time when we can have our own personal chauffer in the form of an autonomous car. Even though plenty of us enjoy the freedom of driving ourselves, it also can seem like a lot of our lives are wasted behind the wheel. What if you could use your commute to get some work done or even just reading a book. Then there are those who cannot drive, whether it’s due to age or disability. Clearly, it can be something of an ideal. Likely, though, the first self-driving vehicles will not be for personal use, but rather will come in the form of taxis. Now that Nissan is testing a new Easy Ride service, designed in conjunction with DeNA Co., travelers in Japan will be among the first to test it out.
Where is Easy Ride being tested?
Unfortunately for us, we won’t be seeing these robo-vehicles traveling around the streets of Glendale Heights, Illinois. Rather, the first field test is taking place in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama, in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture.
The first testing route is really only about 2.8 miles, so it’s not much when it comes to autonomous driving, but for those who live in the area, it does travel from the Nissan Global headquarters to a nearby Yokohama World Porters shopping center.
For those who are able to participate in the field test, which starts on March 5th, other features such as destination selection will be tested. For their troubles, if you count getting to ride in an autonomous vehicle a trouble, travelers will receive discount coupons for local retailers and restaurants.
Though testing is starting now, we wouldn’t expect Easy Ride vehicles to become a commercial reality until at least 2020, and it would likely be more of a shuttle service than a complete driverless taxi. That is to say, pre-determined routes in larger cities.
If a driverless car field test was occurring near you, would you be among the first to try it out? Share your thoughts with a comment here at the Glendale Nissan Blog.