Nissan to trial robo-taxis in Japan

Nissan says it will test an autonomous car on public roads in Japan in March aiming to officially start the ‘robot taxi’ rides in the early 2020s

The auto giant has teamed up with Japanese firm DeNA, a gaming software company, to trial the self-driving vehicles on the streets of Yokohama over a two-week period, the news site says.

Using Nissan's Intelligent Mobility vision, and data collected on electrified and connected vehicles, plus DeNA's expertise in the development and operation of driverless mobility services using the Internet and artificial intelligence, both companies are now ready to test their product on the roads of the Minatomirai district of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan from March 5, 2018, to March 18, 2018.

Nissan will build Tow Leaf Electric Car having sensors and camera along with autonomous driving program developed by DeNA.

Easy Ride is a robo-vehicle for customers who intend to travel freely to their destination.

The duo, which have been conducting field tests of their "Easy Ride" system since joining hands earlier this year, said the tests were the first step towards their goal of launching a full-service, self-driving ride-sharing service in the country in the early 2020s. Customers can use a mobile app to complete the total process ranging from setting destinations and mobilizing vehicles to pay the fee.

Spurs' Kawhi Leonard fails to give return date for his injury
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich admitted in November that Leonard hasn't responded to rehabilitation the way the team had hoped. Popovich's standard answer this season when asked about Leonard has been that he will return "sooner rather than later".

During the trials, adds the BBC, a Nissan staff member will accompany passengers to conform with Japanese law.

Elsewhere, Uber is working on its own self-drive service and in November struck a deal with Volvo to buy up to 24,000 cars.

Meanwhile, Japanese robotics maker ZMP is working with a Tokyo taxi operator to develop self-driving taxis for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

And Waymo, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, is planning to test autonomous cars with no human safety driver.

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