Nissan and Japanese e-commerce company DeNa will soon begin testing a new self-driving taxi service in Yokohama, Japan called Easy Ride.

Nissan describes Easy Ride as  “a mobility service for anyone who wants to travel freely to their destination of choice in a robo-vehicle.” The field test of the robo taxis, set to commence on March 5th, will take place in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama. Users will be able to hail an Easy Ride with an app, allowing them to travel a 4.5 km route between Nissan’s global headquarters and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center. For now, the Easy Ride vehicles will consist of a pretty sweet-looking Nissan Leaf, along with a Nissan eNV200 van.

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Nissan Robo Taxi

The test vehicles won’t just be for developing autonomous hardware and software. The field run will allow Nissan to test out the Easy Ride app, which allows passengers to choose from a list of recommended destinations and input what they want to do via voice or text. An in-car tablet screen will also display 500 places of interest in the vicinity, and provide discount coupons for retailers and restaurants in the area that will be available for download to a user’s smartphone. After the trip, participants will be asked to complete a survey about their overall experience using Easy Ride.

Eventually, Nissan and DeNA will work to expand Easy Ride’s service route, streamline pick-up/drop-off processes and provide multilingual support. It predicts to have the service up and running in full capacity by the “early 2020s.’ The company didn’t outline plans to bring EasyRide to North America, but we assume that it hopes to one day expand to Canada and the United States.

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