Japan's Nissan to start self-driving taxi service application trial

Asian Tech Press (SEP 10) -- According to Kyodo News, self-driving car trials and preparations are underway across Japan. Nissan will start a practical application trial of autonomous car ride-hailing service in Yokohama City this month. Honda will allow driver-less L4 autonomous vehicles to run on roads in Utsunomiya City and Yoshiga Town in Tochigi Prefecture under certain conditions in 2022. The town of Sango in Nara Prefecture will test self-driving vehicles on existing bus routes.

Nissan and NTT DOCOMO will launch a limited-access ride-hailing service in the Minatomirai and Chinatown areas of Yokohama City from September 21 to the end of October. About 200 participants are invited, and people can call self-driving vehicles through a smartphone app and get on and off freely at 23 locations in the area.

To prevent unexpected situations, drivers will be on board. Still, the system will be responsible for judgments such as waiting for oncoming traffic to pass when making a right turn and changing lanes in order to avoid stopped vehicles ahead.

Nissan executive director Kazuhiro Doi said at an online briefing on the 9th that many people have difficulty driving because of reasons like aging, and autonomous driving is a solution.

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