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Nissan to Test Robo Taxi Service in Japan

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Feb. 27, 2018—Nissan is taking initial steps to become an operator of autonomous vehicle services, seeking to cut into Uber and Lyft’s market share, the Reuters news service has reported.

In partnership with Japanese mobile gaming platform operator DeNa Co., Nissan will begin public field tests of its Easy Ride service in Yokohama next month, becoming one of the first major OEMs to test ride-hailing software that’s developed in-house, using its own fleet of self-driving electric cars.

Easy Ride, which Nissan plans to launch in Japan in the early 2020s, will aid passengers with amenities such as restaurant recommendations while the vehicle is on the move. The announcement follows an agreement by Nissan and partners Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. earlier this month to explore future cooperation with Chinese transportation services conglomerate Didi Chuxing.

These moves mark a push by Nissan to avoid becoming merely a vehicle supplier to ride-and car-sharing companies.

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