Japan Begins Experiment Providing Driverless Robot Taxis for the Elderly

Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Sci-Tech, Technology with 6 Comments
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robot driverless taxiBy SputnikNews.com

Japan has made rapid advancements in incorporating robotics into everyday life. Now, in an effort to keep the elderly off the road, a new project aims to bring driverless taxi cabs to the streets.

Related Article: No Humans Allowed! Test “City” for Driverless Cars Opens


Senior citizens get a pretty bad rap as far as driving abilities go. Waning eyesight, poor focus, and weakening reflexes make for a deadly combination on the highway, and it’s a concern that Tokyo isn’t taking lightly. The most rapidly aging nation on Earth, Japan has over 60,000 citizens over the age of 100, and all of those people have to get around somehow.

Currently, many use cabs to get from home to their local grocery store. But that can be pricey. But one company may have found a way to make those trips more affordable. Called Robot Taxi Inc., the company hopes to reduce fares by automating the middleman.

Related Article: Driverless Cars Could Change Everything

With backing from the Japanese government, the company will begin testing its driverless cars sometime next year. Starting small, the first run will occur in Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo, and will be offered to 50 people for short trips of roughly two miles.

Once the test run is complete, the company hopes to become fully operational by 2020.

“There are a lot of people who say it’s impossible, but I think this will happen faster than people expect,” Shinjiro Koizumi, a vice minister, said during an event held on Thursday afternoon, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But will people trust their lives to a computerized box on wheels? According to roboticist Richard Alan Peters, the answer is yes, partially because Japanese culture has developed different attitudes towards robots than other parts of the world.

Related Article: What Will Be the Future of the Self-Driving Car?

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6 Reader Comments

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  1. 471174186394808@facebook.com' Roxii Love Vernetti says:

    Because humans are stupid.

  2. 471174186394808@facebook.com' Roxii Love Vernetti says:

    Oh. And lazy

  3. 1055669104473927@facebook.com' Jeffrey Adams says:

    Crtl alt del, the elderly?? The same people that take ten minutes at checkout stands trying to figure out how to complete a credit card transaction?

  4. 501383540039705@facebook.com' Khandoker Asaduzzaman says:

    Fine.

  5. 501383540039705@facebook.com' Khandoker Asaduzzaman says:

    Very good!

  6. 859809090764496@facebook.com' Jemar Pamat Espera says:

    Impressive achievement but it will turn to humanity disaster. This kind of technology will replace human force and who owns that thing, depriving those people who make living on a taxi.

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