Test of driverless bus starts in Chiba

Operators hope to introduce the "Robot Shuttle" at a shopping mall to ferry customers around.

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Members of the public have taken the first test-ride on a driverless bus in Chiba City, near Tokyo. Operators hope to introduce the “Robot Shuttle” at a shopping mall to ferry customers around.

Major retailer Aeon and IT company DeNA are tying up for the project.

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The Robot Shuttle is a mini-bus that seats up to 12. It’s equipped with cameras and sensors that detect people and obstacles.

The test-runs are being conducted inside a park near a shopping mall. The operator says these runs are done off public roads in compliance with the law.

Aeon official Takehiko Saito says the company hopes self-driving buses will become a public transport service to hospitals and railway stations, in addition to their outlets.

The operator plans to collect user feedback and work out safety issues before they begin shuttling shoppers.

Source and image: NHK
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