Lorie Wimble Lorie is the "Liberal Voice" of Conservative Haven, a political blog, and has 2 astounding children. Find her on Twitter.

Self-driving taxis will be hitting Japanese roads next year

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If there are two things that Japan is one of the undisputed masters of, it’s robotics and transportation. That’s why it’s not all that surprising to see that the country will begin testing self-driving taxis outside of Tokyo starting next year. The tests will involve using autonomous cabs to drive about 50 different people a couple of miles from their home to local grocery stores, in the hopes that a commercial driverless transportation service can be developed within the next few years. 

From the country where hotels are operated by robots and androids serve as clerks at department stores comes the latest unmanned project: the robot cab. Japan’s cabinet office, Kanagawa prefecture and Robot Taxi Inc. on Thursday said they will start experimenting with unmanned taxi service beginning in 2016. The service will be offered for approximately 50 people in Kanagawa prefecture, just south of Tokyo, with the auto-driving car carrying them from their homes to local grocery stores. According to the project organizers, the cabs will drive a distance of about three kilometers (two miles), and part of the course will be on major avenues in the city. Crew members will be aboard the car during the experiment in case there is a need to avoid accidents. Robot Taxi Inc., a joint venture between mobile Internet company DeNA Co. and vehicle technology developer ZMP Inc., is aiming to commercialize its driverless transportation service by 2020. The company says it will seek to offer unmanned cabs to users including travelers from overseas and locals in areas where buses and trains are not available.

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Lorie Wimble Lorie is the "Liberal Voice" of Conservative Haven, a political blog, and has 2 astounding children. Find her on Twitter.

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