The future of the vehicle transport industry is slowly transforming from human-driven vehicles to self-driving cars. Nissan, Japan’s second-largest motor corporation, and other competitors are gearing up for the new potential future market.
Nissan that recently partnered with DeNa Co, which is a Japanese operator of mobile gaming platform, is set to start carrying out public field tests of self-driving cars. Nissan launched its Easy Ride service vehicles that comprise of self-driving cars in Yokohama. The tests will begin this month making Nissan the first automakers to test ride-hailing software developed in-house.
Nissan is expected to launch the Easy Ride service into the Japan market in the early 2020s. The Easy Ride will be more of a concierge service on wheels. The cars will make recommendations to their users while on the move, for example, hotel recommendations.
This move is in line with the agreement made among Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Renault South Africa to cooperate with the Chinese based transport service, Didi Chuxing in future ride-hailing plans. This aims at transforming Didi Chuxing from being a mere car provider to another ride- and car- sharing companies.
The chief executive officer of Nissan, Mr. Hiroto Saikawa said that the process would take a lot of time and that they saw it fit to partner with other expert companies in the field. Reports revealed that Nissan and their partners are keen to explore the new battery charged vehicles market, like Didi Chuxing. Nissan is currently setting up an electric car-sharing service in China. Mr. Saikawa revealed that there was a possibility for Nissan to broaden further this agreement that will see them become the leading provider of self-driving taxi technology to the Chinese market.
The Easy Ride service is expected to equip and improve capabilities of each of the alliance partners. It is likely that they will be able to partner with local companies in assembly and distribution of self-driving cars to several markets in future. According to IHS Markit automotive analyst, Jeremy Carson, Nissan would strive against larger competitors like Uber and Taxify if they created an upscale autonomous taxi service. This means that Nissan would have to drop the option of competing in taxi prices with other service providers. Nissan will be able to easily charge more for their premium taxi service which would have no matching competitors.
Global sales of autonomous cars are expected to increase to more than 33 million units in 2040 from the expected 51,000 units in 2021 according to IHS Markit. Goldman Sachs predicts growth by eightfold of ride-hailing service by 2030. This will be five times larger than the current taxi market size.
Nissan launched the first electric car, the Leaf, in 2010. Nissan and other motor companies have been installing advanced self-driving features and self-parking features in a variety of cars such as Subaru.