A few select foreign visitors and foreign nationals living in Japan will be invited to test the new autonomous taxi that will be part of a new transportation service delivering people from Narita and Haneda airports to Marunouchi.

From January 20–February 1, 2020, the first MaaS (Mobility as a Service) demonstration experiment will be held using an autonomous driving taxi – the ZMP RoboCar MiniVan.

Courtesy of ZMP Inc.

Tokyo’s First Driverless Taxi

The ZMP RoboCar MiniVan uses several types of cameras and sensors to understand the surrounding environment and traffic. All driving operations such as steering, accelerator and brakes are controlled by computer.

Passengers will be carried by (human-operated) airport limousine buses from Narita and Haneda airports to Tokyo City Air Terminal in Chuo-ku. They will then hop into Tokyo’s first autonomous taxis, operated by Tokyo-based taxi companies Nihon Kotsu and Hinomaru Kotsu, and travel approximately 3km to Marunouchi Park Building in Chiyoda-ku.

Courtesy of ZMP Inc.

The Friendly Transport

From January 20–24, 2020, there will also be a demonstration of the ZMP RoboCar Walk, an autonomous personal mobility, around Mitsubishi Estate’s Marunouchi Park Building and Marunouchi Naka-Dori street in the Tokyo Station area. This is the world’s first cooperation service using airport bus, autonomous taxi and autonomous personal mobility.

The ZMP RoboCar Walk is a newly introduced mobility partner. The passenger uses a tablet and autonomously transports to their destination. This friendly vehicle greets passengers with a smile to reassure everyone of a safe and smooth ride.

Courtesy of AIRO, INC.

Driverless Bus at Chubu Centrair

ZMP has also began verification testing, through a collaboration with Airo Inc., a joint venture company of Marubeni Corporation, for a self-driving RoboCar Mini EV Bus at Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya.

Using the RoboCar Mini EV Bus, Airo will attempt to be the first company in the world to combine aircraft recognition and remote control to cross the taxiway of the aircraft. The bus is expected to run from Terminal 1 International Bus Lounge to the airport parking area and back. The plan is to be ready for commercial use in fiscal year 2020.

Discover Marunouchi in a New Light

A proposed release date for Tokyo’s new autonomous taxi service has yet to be announced. The purpose of the service is to realize smooth transportation from the airports to the city center and the stores of the Marunouchi area.

Seven companies have collaborated to make this joint venture come to fruition – Airport Transport Service Co., Ltd., Tokyo City Air Terminal Co., Ltd., Nihon Kotsu Co., Ltd., Hinomaru Kotsu Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd., JTB Corp., and ZMP Inc.

The demonstration experiment is supported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Project on Business Model Construction Utilizing Autonomous Driving Technology.

Fotokon / Shutterstock.com

How to Register

The English-language reservation website is now in operation and foreigners (including foreign nationals) are invited to apply for a chance to participate in this one-of-a-kind experience.

Applications will be accepted until January 9 at 17:00. There is a travel charge of ¥3,800 for those traveling between Narita Airport and Marunouchi Park Building, ¥1,600 for those traveling from Haneda Airport to Marunouchi Park Building, and ¥1,200 for those traveling between Tokyo City Air Terminal and Marunouchi Park Building.

Learn more at: hyperurl.co/ZMP_MaaS

Feature image courtesy of ZMP Inc.