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RoboCar: autonomous taxi on the move in Tokyo

RoboCar taxi in Tokyo
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I n 2020 the Summer Olympics will take place in the Japanese capital Tokyo instead of. The government, city council and local businesses want to use a variety of new technologies for the event. Toyota has already presented a fuel cell bus in advance.

Autonomous taxis will then also be used to transport athletes and visitors. The first self-driving cabs are already in regular operation.

Autonomous Toyota Hybrid

The robotics company ZMP, which also manufactures and markets systems for autonomous cars, worked with a local taxi operator at the end of August a correspondingly converted Toyota Estima Hybrid was put into service. The computer system for autonomous driving has been used on board taxis, which were driven by experienced taxi drivers, since 2017 so that it can learn driving styles and routes.

ll already completely autonomous. The interaction process with passengers is also fully automated. The RoboCar-Taxi, as the project is called, is ordered via a smartphone app. The car finds its way to the customer on its own, the doors open automatically. Passengers can enter their destination using a tablet in the passenger compartment and confirm payment at the end of the journey.

The journey in the RoboCar costs 12 euros

The journey in the RoboCar is already now chargeable. According to the Internet magazine Wired, a trip costs 1,500 yen, the equivalent of around 12 euros. Over 1,500 passengers are said to have already been on board, although the car currently only connects the two districts of Otemachi and Roppong four times a day.

After this first test run, which ends in September 2018, should be before the end of the year, a RoboCar without a driver was sent into a taxi for the first time. Self-driving cars are already on the road as shuttles not only in Tokyo, but also in the USA. The Google sister company Waymo has a fleet of converted Chrysler Pacifica hybrid vans in use, 82,000 more cars have already been ordered.


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