“Easy Ride” Vehicles are Nissan’s Solution to Transportation Concerns

March 9th, 2024 by

Nissan of Fort Pierce 2024 Nissan Taxi Service

Photo Source: NISSAN

On February 28, 2024, Nissan announced a plan to launch a self-driving taxi service in Japan starting April 2027. As Nissan prepares to launch its own self-driving taxi service, it is a sign that the Japanese automotive giant is interested in challenging Uber in the race to deploy a fleet of money-making autonomous vehicles. Nissan will partner with DeNa–pronounced D-N-A–to launch its Easy Ride robot taxi service, the automaker announced. More importantly, however, the ride-share service will address the shortage of taxi drivers in the country, especially as the population ages. 

During a briefing at the company’s headquarters, a spokesperson announced plans to initiate a trial service in Yokohama utilizing a Serena-based vehicle, with the goal to expand the program nationwide in three years (2027). “Local communities have been facing several mobility challenges, such as driver shortages, which are a result of an aging population,” Nissan elaborated in a statement.

The Bedrock of Nissan’s Strategy

The initial trial in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai area will involve 20 vehicles equipped with a safety monitor in the driver’s seat. Passengers will have the ability to make reservations for the autonomous ride-share service. The brand intends to engage in safety-related discussions with the government and proceed with a gradual rollout of the program. In response to the challenges posed by an aging population and a dearth of transportation services in suburban areas, Japan’s transport ministry has formed a committee to collaborate with local governments and other stakeholders in laying the groundwork for self-driving vehicles.

In an official statement, Kazuhiro Doi, Vice President of Nissan Research and Advanced Engineering, emphasized the significance of addressing transportation-related challenges, declaring, “Japan is facing a big transportation-related problem, which will get bigger in the future. There is a lack of suburban taxi and bus services due to a decreasing and aging population. A time may come when there are no more drivers.”

Marketing Opportunities

This enterprise comes at a time when Nissan’s rival Honda, United States manufacturer General Motors, and General Motors’ autonomous driving unit Cruise announced they will establish a joint venture, which will begin a driverless ride service in Japan in early 2026. To that end, there also appears to be a heavy emphasis on marketing deals with local Japanese businesses. For example, an in-car tablet screen will display selections of nearly 500 recommended places of interest and events in the vicinity. Moreover, approximately 40 discount coupons for restaurants and retailers in the area will be available for download on the participants’ smartphones.

After it launches its service, Nissan will be joining the ranks of Lyft, Uber, General Motors, and other companies that are dipping their toes into the world of autonomous ride-hailing vehicles. It is a potentially lucrative market but, more importantly, Nissan’s autonomous vehicle ride-share service aims to provide a viable solution to the challenges Japan is facing while contributing to the evolution of transportation. The company is committed to ensuring the dependability and safety of autonomous technology through collaboration with the government and a careful, phased approach to implementation.

If you would like to support Nissan’s inventiveness in the transportation arena, please come visit Nissan of Fort Pierce. Do not forget we have a trained service team that can help with an online appointment to get started on all maintenance work and repairs. Allow us the pleasure of helping you today.

Posted in Nissan