In Tokyo, efforts are being made to improve transportation for the elderly. One way of doing this is via self-driving buses in some of its rural communities, where it is a particular challenge for seniors to get around due to a lack of bus and taxi services.
This is having a trickle down effect on large metropolitan global cities like Paris and Singapore which are experimenting with similar services, bolstering the efforts in Japan. It is believed that should this trend continue, self-driving services for remote communities could be launched by 2020.
As DeNA (mobile gaming software maker)’s Automotive Director, Hiroshi Nakajima pointed out: “Smaller towns in Japan are greying even faster than cities, and there are just not enough workers to operate buses and taxis. But there are a lot of service areas around the country, and they could serve as a hub for mobility services.”