First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Panasonic is to launch a ride-sharing service of autonomous electric carts in Japan in 2021 for small towns and other ‘confined’ areas.
A report by The Mainichi says the company is now using four carts to transport more than 14,000 employees around its headquarters in Osaka Prefecture ahead of the commercial launch.
The carts operate at 20 km/h per hour on a 2.4km loop around the premises, which is around 468,000 m2 in size.
An spokesperson is quoted as saying during a press conference: "We are not trying to make high-speed autonomous cars because we are not an automaker. We would like to create slow and human-friendly mobility.”
Each cart comes with four seats, sensors, cameras and telecommunications equipment.
Panasonic is hoping the service will be introduced in theme parks or venues for large events such as the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka.