By Tunde Osho
Nissan will launch its first public trial of a self-driving taxi service in Tokyo, Japan on March 5, 2018. The service, called Easy Ride will see a handful of self-driving Nissan Leaf electric cars ferry passengers on a set route between Nissan’s headquarters and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center.
According to the auto firm, the route only spans about 2.5 miles but will be expanded at a later date.
Nissan, which is running the trial in partnership with Japanese telecommunications firm Dena, says the goal is to launch a much wider service by the early 2020s.
Using an app on their smartphone, users can book or order one of Nissan’s self-driving cars. The app will also enable the user to choose from hundreds of recommended destinations, which would be ideal for tourists. It also supports voice activation with multiple languages. Local merchants can also advertise via the app and offer discounts and special offers to users.
Nissan is currently testing self-driving cars that can handle door-to-destination journeys. The automaker is confident of having the technology ready by as early as 2020.