Self-Driving Bus Unveiled in Tokyo

LONDON (Reuters) -
Japan's internet commerce and mobile games provider DeNA Co's Robot Shuttle, a driver-less, self driving bus, is seen during its demonstration in Tokyo, Japan July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
A driverless, self-driving bus is seen during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan, July 7. (Reuters/Toru Hanai)

Japanese technology firm DeNA Co. showcased its first self-driving bus in Tokyo on Thursday, unveiling a vehicle that runs on electricity and can carry 12 passengers.

The EZ10 Robot Shuttle, developed in conjunction with French company Easy Mile, will first be used at a shopping facility in Japan’s Chiba prefecture next month and has a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour.

Last month, bus company PostBus unveiled a self-driving electric shuttle in the Swiss city of Sion. Automated driving technology is currently in the spotlight, with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigating a May 7 fatality of a Tesla Model S driver using autopilot technology.

“We take safety very seriously,” Hiroshi Nakajima, general manager of DeNA’s automotive business, told a news conference. “Because we worry that there may be a serious accident, we make double or triple safety checks and begin from there.”