Plans on course for driverless taxis at 2020 Olympics

Back in the news again recently has been Japan’s plans to have driverless cars providing a taxi service at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Plans which are progressing well so far:

Dozens of people in Japan will be whisked to the local shops in driverless taxis from next year in an experiment with robot technology that could be fully commercial by the time Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020.

From March 2016, the taxis will take about 50 residents of Fujisawa, a large coastal town near Tokyo, from their homes to supermarkets along the city’s main roads in journeys of about 3km…

As one of the fastest-ageing societies in the world, Japan is thought to be ideal for the introduction of self-driving vehicles, amid a rise in the number of accidents involving older drivers. [The Guardian]

More on the technology was reported earlier in the year:

Tokyo plan on having autonomous taxis by 2020, just in time for the Japanese capital to host the Summer Olympic Games.

Japanese social media and gaming company, DeNA, has partnered with ZMP – a robotics firm – to help realise its vision of driverless motoring by utilising its expertise in radar sensors and camera image-recognition to help measure distances between cars and pick up hazards such as pedestrians.

DeNA’s general manager of new business development, Hiroshi Nakajima said, “We hope to run many unmanned taxis during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“The Olympics are a good opportunity to show Japanese technology to the world, if our robot taxis are used for the transportation of athletes from their camp to the events.” [Drive]


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