Nissan and DeNA will begin testing a new robo-vehicle mobility service called Easy Ride on March 5th. The field test, held in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama, in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, will have participants in vehicles equipped with automated technology. A preassigned route has been established near Nissan’s global headquarters and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center.
Nissan and DeNA will be examining what they call Easy Ride’s “unique service functions.” Through a mobile app, passengers can text or use voice commands to choose where they want to go from a list of recommended destinations. An in-car screen will show an additional 500 points of interest and events in the vicinity, with about 40 discount coupons for certain area retailers and restaurants offered to passengers.
The two companies have set up a remote operations center to monitor the experience of each Easy Ride participant. Nissan and DeNA say they are developing different “service designs for driverless environments,” while expanding available routes, optimizing vehicle distribution, and the pick-up/drop-off process. The goal is for Easy Ride to achieve a full service capacity, complete with multilingual support, in the early 2020s.
Participants complete a survey about their overall experience, which Nissan and DeNA will use to further refine the service. The video below explains more.