NISSAN MOTOR and DeNA Co., Ltd, as part of an ITOP Yokohama initiative, are launching the second field test of Easy Ride, a smart mobility ride-hailing service that involves a fleet of self-driving cabs that carry passengers around the City of Yokohama. The experiment is scheduled between February 19 and March 16 and is a follow-up to the first field test conducted at a smaller scale back in March 2018. The partnership aims to launch full services of Easy Ride in the early 2020s.
This time, the field test will cover a much larger area that includes many of Yokohama’s famous sightseeing spots such as the Yokohama Stadium, Chinatown, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and Yamashita Park. Field test participants, who are members of the general public who applied through the Easy Ride website, will try out the Easy Ride mobile app which allows them to hail a ride to their preferred destination from their mobile device. The voice-controlled service is meant to feel closer to a concierge service, as passengers can say something like “Take me to a burger shop,” and the AI controlled app will make suggestions for specific ride destinations. The fare is automatically calculated and charged through the app. The app designers plan to integrate multilingual support in the future to accommodate international residents and tourists. The vehicles will be operated autonomously with all trips monitored at a remote monitoring center to ensure safety, while there will be a project staff member occupying the driver seat during the field test to provide extra caution.
The City of Yokohama supports these cutting-edge field tests by interfacing with public administrators and other local stakeholders to secure their understanding and cooperation. Utilizing sustainable mobility solutions to tackle challenges in regional transportation has been a key focus area for the city.
Easy Ride website (English) : https://easy-ride.com/?lang=en
Yokohama’s Major Industries: Mobility