TOKYO — Nissan Motor Co. is deepening collaboration with a Japanese mobile gaming and communications giant to develop self-driving taxis.
Nissan wants the partnership to lift it ahead of its rivals in the nascent vehicle mobility services segment. But when it comes to realizing self-driving taxis that can pick up and drop off customers automatically on public roads without a glitch, the automaker acknowledges there is still a long way to go.
Last month, Nissan Motor Co. and online tech company DeNA Co. field-tested Easy Ride robotaxis, involving some 300 participants.
"This represents a big step toward enhancing self-driving cars and the mobility service operation system from the stage of just presenting a conceptual image," Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said during the launch. "This will help advance our business in offering a new mobility service for many customers in a variety of scenes."
The robotaxis are based on a modified Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. For their field testing, they traveled about two miles on a preset city route from Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama to a nearby commercial facility.