Tokyo-based technology firm ZMP and taxi operator Hinomaru Kotsu launched on August 27 the world’s first pilot project to test an operation of autonomous driving taxis on public streets. The service runs a 5.3 km route from Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku to Roppongi, Minato-ku until September 8. Real estate developers Mitsubishi Estate and Mori Building provide spaces at their properties as taxi stands.
ZMP and Hinomaru developed an application for reservation and payment as well as a remote system to monitor the vehicles. Passengers use their smartphones to reserve a taxi and make payment on the tablet app in the car. The companies, aiming at a commercial operation by 2020, have been improving algorithm for self-driving to realize smooth drive flowing with traffic and passengers’ comfortable ride. (2018/08/28)