Nissan begins field tests of its Easy Ride driverless robo-taxi in Japan

Beginning March 5, residents in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama will be able to travel through the city in a driverless robo-taxi called “Easy Ride.” The field test will include pre-registered participants along a set route between Nissan’s global headquarters and a nearby shopping center.

All the Nissan Leaf cars in the test will be remotely monitored for safety. Presumably, a human operator would be able to step in and control the vehicle should something unexpected happen.

The joint venture between Nissan and DeNA will provide an opportunity to test out various services during the ride. Customers can request destinations via voice commands or text messages, and a tablet display in the car will show recommendations for nearly 500 places of interest, such as restaurants in the area. Riders can also download discount coupons from nearby vendors directly to their phones.