Nissan to Test Robo-Taxis in Yokohama

Nissan Motor Co. and Japanese e-commerce software giant DeNA Co. plan a public test in March of their Easy Ride self-driving taxi service in Yokohama.

The two-week test will employ two robotic Nissan Leaf electric sedans. Riders will use a smartphone app developed by DeNa to summon a car, pay the fare and choose among several pre-programmed destinations in the city’s Minato Mirai commercial district.

Nissan and DeNA agreed in January to partner on robotic vehicle technology and have been developing the Easy Ride system since then. DeNA also has been testing its own Robot Shuttle, a self-driving bus intended to provide mobility for elderly people who live in rural areas where conventional public transportation options are dwindling.

The partners have said previously that they hope to launch a full-service version of Easy Ride in Japan by about 2022.