Self-driving taxis are hitting the roads in Japan very soon

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Robot Taxis Revving Up for the 2020 Olympics
Robot Taxi is the Japanese company that aims to commercialize self-driving vehicles for everybody's use. While a number of firms in the US are also experimenting with this technology, they currently don't have a monetization model at the center of their strategy, or at least not one that goes beyond the sale of these units to individuals. On the other hand, Robot Taxi wants to provide a service with its automated vehicles that will help people move around without the need to own one.

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Self-driving taxis are hitting the roads in Japan very soon
A receptionist dinosaur robot performs at the new robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A porter robot, left, escorts a hotel employee while carrying his suitcase during a demonstration for the media at the new hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A receptionist robot, left, greets a hotel employee, right, demonstrating how to check in for the media at the new hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
The newly opened robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel stands in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A cloak robot, left, moves a box containing a suitcase left by a hotel employee at the cloak window during a demonstration for the media at the new robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Two receptionist robots, left, greet a hotel employee demonstrating how to check in the new hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Huis Ten Bosch Co. President Hideo Sawada attends the opening ceremony of the robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. Sawada, who runs the hotel as part of his amusement park, insists using robots is not a gimmick, but a serious effort to utilize technology and achieve efficiency. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A receptionist robot, top center, accompanied by two other robots, greets a hotel employee demonstrating how to check in the new hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A receptionist dinosaur robot greets a hotel employee demonstrating how to check in for the media at the new hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A robot stands by during an opening ceremony of the robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Huis Ten Bosch Co. President Hideo Sawada speaks in a guestroom at the newly opened robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. Sawada, who runs the hotel as part of his amusement park, insists using robots is not a gimmick, but a serious effort to utilize technology and achieve efficiency. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A cloak robot, left, waits as a hotel employee leaves her suitcase at the cloak window during a demonstration for the media at the new robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A hotel employee talks to concierge robot Tuly at the new robot hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A cloak robot moves a box loaded with items received from a guest during a demonstration for the media at the new hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
A receptionist robot performs during a demonstration for the media at the new hotel, aptly called Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel, in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. From the receptionist that does the check-in and check-out to the porter that’s a stand-on-wheels taking luggage up to the room, the hotel, that is run as part of Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, is “manned” almost totally by robots to save labor costs. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
SASEBO, JAPAN - JULY 15: A robotic dinosaur replaces human staff at the check in counter at the Henna Hotel (Weird Hotel) in Huis Ten Bosch, Netherlands themed amusement park on July 15, 2015 in Sasebo, Japan. The Henna Hotel, scheduled to open on July 17, features multi-lingual humanoid robots that greet visitors while other robots serve coffee and do the cleaning, as well as room doors that are opened by face-recognition technology. (Photo by Trevor Williams/WireImage)
SASEBO, JAPAN - JULY 15: A small robot in each room controls lighting and other features by voice command at the Henna Hotel (Weird Hotel) in Huis Ten Bosch, Netherlands themed amusement park on July 15, 2015 in Sasebo, Japan. The Henna Hotel, scheduled to open on July 17, features multi-lingual humanoid robots that greet visitors while other robots serve coffee and do the cleaning, as well as room doors that are opened by face-recognition technology. (Photo by Trevor Williams/WireImage)
SASEBO, JAPAN - JULY 15: A robotic concierge handles guests questions at the Henna Hotel (Weird Hotel) in Huis Ten Bosch, Netherlands themed amusement park on July 15, 2015 in Sasebo, Japan. The Henna Hotel, scheduled to open on July 17, features multi-lingual humanoid robots that greet visitors while other robots serve coffee and do the cleaning, as well as room doors that are opened by face-recognition technology. (Photo by Trevor Williams/WireImage)
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The company will start putting its self-driving taxis on the streets in 2016 for testing rounds in an attempt to be fully functional by 2020, when Japan will host the Olympic games. Additionally, the service aims to take care of the increasingly older population that characterizes the demographic trends of the nation, as well as to provide affordable transportation for those living in remote areas.

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