Autonomous Commercial Taxi Test Launched in Tokyo

Society

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--The world's first test commercial service of an autonomous taxi carrying passengers on public roads started in central Tokyo on Monday.

Taxi operator Hinomaru Kotsu Co. and robotics startup ZMP Inc., the developer of the autonomous taxi, will offer the test service through Sept. 8 on a 5.3-kilometer route linking the Otemachi and Roppongi business districts for customers with reservations.

The taxi will shuttle on the route four times a day, with a one-way fare set at 1,500 yen. As many as 1,500 applicants have been received for 96 test ride slots.

The two companies aim to introduce driverless taxi services on limited routes in 2020.

"The car merged into the traffic with nothing strange, just like ordinary taxis," said a 45-year-old self-employed man from Tokyo's Toshima Ward who took a ride in the autonomous taxi.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press