Nissan and DeNA to begin a field test of "robo-vehicle mobility service" in Japan in March
On March 5, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and DeNA Co., Ltd. will begin a field test of their “robo-vehicle mobility service,” Easy Ride, which is envisioned as a mobility service “for anyone who wants to travel freely to their destination of choice in a robo-vehicle.”
The field test will take place in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama, in Japan's Kanagawa Prefecture. During testing, participants will travel along a set route in vehicles equipped with autonomous driving technology. The route is about 4.5 kilometers between Nissan's global headquarters and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center.
To ensure efficient fleet operation, and to make sure that customers maintain a peace of mind during their rides, Nissan and DeNA have set up a remote monitoring center that uses their respective advanced technologies.
During this trial, Nissan and DeNA will also test Easy Ride's unique service functions. One of those functions involves passengers using a dedicated mobile app to input what they want to do via text or voice and choose from a list of recommended destinations. Nearly 500 recommended places of interest and events in the vicinity will be displayed on an in-car tablet screen, and there will also be approximately 40 discount coupons for retailers and restaurants in the area that will be available for download on the participants' own smartphones.
Following their rides, participants will be asked to complete a survey about their overall user experience, usage of content and coupons from local retailers and restaurants. They will also be asked about preferred pricing for the Easy Ride service.
The results of these surveys will be used by Nissan and DeNA as they continue to develop the offering, and for future field tests.
Nissan and DeNA say that the field test will allow them to “learn from the experience of operating the Easy Ride service trial with public participation, as both companies look toward future commercial endeavors.” The companies say that they will also work on developing service designs for driverless environments, expanded service routes, vehicle distribution logic, pick-up/drop-off processes and multilingual support.
Initially, Nissan and DeNA are looking to launch Easy Ride in a limited environment, but they hope to introduce a full service in the early 2020s.
Below is a video on how Easy Ride is meant to function as a service: