By Amanda Scott
Self-driving cars have been in the works for years by many of the big car companies. The Japanese company Robot Taxi has announced that they will begin trials using their robotic taxis in 2016. The testing will take place on the streets just outside of Tokyo.
Robot taxi isn’t taking any chances though; there will be drivers behind the wheel to take over in case anything goes wrong. Some 50 local residents will take place in the trials. The robotic taxis will usher them to and from nearby stores.
The taxis will utilize a combination of radar sensors, stereo vision cameras, and image recognition technology, along with GPS to navigate the roads. Robot Taxi will outfit the Toyota Estima hybrid minivan with the new technology for its trials.
While major players like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Google are all venturing into the field of autonomous driving features, Robot Taxi may be the one who ends up with first self-driving commercial car company. Their goal is to have fully functioning robotic taxis on the roads for use by the general public for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Robot Taxi will have some hurdles to overcome. The first being Japan’s current Road Traffic Act, which requires an occupant to be in the driver’s seat. The company may also get resistance from the public, who fear self-driving cars are not safe. Either way the future of car driving is near.