Nissan is planning to begin a pilot of self-driving Leaf electric vehicles that can be hailed using a smartphone app from next March.
Tech Crunch reports that the carmaker is working with Japanese software maker DeNA to create the autonomous ride-hailing service which will be trialled on Japanese Roads.
The report says Nissan will start with two Leaf vehicles modified with autonomous vehicle sensors and compute on roads, with staff actively monitoring pick up and drop-off locations, and an open application for participation in the test program available to the public.
It comments that one of the more interesting aspects of Nissan’s test is that users will be able to not only specify exactly where they want to go, but also use general written queries like “I want to eat pancakes” and have the car automatically choose a relevant destination. It quotes the Wall Street Journal as saying that building some degree of autonomous destination selection is a User Experience differentiator that could help Nissan set its service apart ahead of the launch of all of these competing services.