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Japan Transportation Technology

Hitachi's Tiny Robo-Taxi Carries 1 Passenger and No Driver 86

Posted by timothy
from the perfect-for-class-reunion-showoffs dept.
New submitter terrywo5 writes "A new driver-less robotic car nicknamed ROPITS was revealed recently by Hitachi in the city of Tsukuba. This tiny robotic car uses GPS to transport its single passenger, and it can be programmed to pick up and drop passengers automatically. Check this article and video to learn more about this car."
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Hitachi's Tiny Robo-Taxi Carries 1 Passenger and No Driver

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  • by MLBs (2637825) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @05:41PM (#43259453)
    I wonder if there's a stick there to evade the bad guys.
    • Konichiwa! Youkoso Johnny Cab!

    • by flyneye (84093)

      I wonder how many more you can fit under semi-trucks than Smart Cars.
      There are certain realities of driving than need to be addressed before you put anything smaller than a motorcycle on the road.
      " Speeds of up to 6 mph", I might as well walk if it's that close, because if it's far it will take all night.
      I could ride on the head of an old woman faster. Why not crawl in a little electric kiddie car from Wal-Mart? Some of them have some cargo space.

      • by RussR42 (779993)
        Ah, you are incorrect! From TFA:

        An electric engine of ROPITS is capable of speeding up to 6 miles /hr.

        So if the speed limit is 70mph, that means it'll run at 76mph! Unless you find a really fast old woman...

  • by hedley (8715) <hedley@pacbell.net> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @05:43PM (#43259463) Journal

    Without the Chucky-esque Johnny.

    H.

    • by guttentag (313541)

      Without the Chucky-esque Johnny.

      Does it still try to run you over and then explode if you don't pay your fare? Because that was really the killer feature in Johnny Cab.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The fact that they made the passenger wear a helmet even in the marketing video does not speak well of their confidence in it's safety.

    • The fact that they made the passenger wear a helmet even in the marketing video does not speak well of their confidence in it's safety.

      In Japan it is illegal to own scissors with blades more than six inches long without a license. It is the most safety conscious place on Earth. The helmet seems like overkill considering this taxi doesn't even move. The video consists of nothing but zooming in on still photos of the taxi sitting in one spot.

      • Though strangely Japanese people I know think it is strange to wear a helmet to ride a bicycle.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Everyone (except people who don't ride bicycles themselves) thinks it is strange to wear a helmet to ride a bicycle other than for racing.

          • Speaking as a dedicated bike commuter, I wouldn't hit the road without one. No matter how hard I try, I am going to come off the bike every 20 or 30 thousand kilometres, and head wounds are nasty.

            • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @09:41AM (#43262585) Journal
              Statistically, you are marginally more likely to die in an accident if you don't wear a helmet. If you do, however, then you are more likely to be involved in an accident overall and significantly more likely to suffer permanent paralysis from an injury. The former is believed to be a combination of a perception of increased safety and reduced spacial awareness from the different airflow around your ears. The latter is because the large helmet significantly increases the torque on your neck in an accident, so impacts that would have been a mild concussion become a broken neck.
              • So... do you ride 5000 km per year without a helmet?

              • Or what would have been deadly (or extremely disfiguring) injuries become mitigated down to neck injuries. My doctor pointed out that without a helmet I'd have no skull/face left, instead of a bunch of soft tissue damage from the twisting action as it hit the road. One of my teachers at high school wasn't wearing a helmet the day he kissed the road and what's left of his face is a sobering reminder of why they're a good idea. One can use the same argument to claim that car safety equpiment increases inju
                • I don't think I've ever seen a bicycle helmet that will protect your face. What sort do you wear?
      • It is the most safety conscious place on Earth.

        Except when it comes to nuclear power plants.

      • In Japan it is illegal to own scissors with blades more than six inches long without a license. It is the most safety conscious place on Earth.

        Nah. Compared to the U.S., where we make laws that say people have to wear bike helmets? (No one does in Japan.) If long scissors are illegal it's under their knife-control laws, which are about the usual ridiculous hoplophobia and not safety.

  • Shady site (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Hmm.. this site has a linkfarm on top of the page to a set of loan sites and uses Javascript to move it out of view.

    • by NF6X (725054)
      When I viewed the site on my iPad, there was a floating panel of Facebook/twitter/etc. share buttons on the left side that it repositioned to obscure content as I scrolled. The floating buttons duplicated fixed ones above the content. Nuke it from orbit, please.
  • The company conducted a test in Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture) within a roughly 18 km wide sidewalk. It can get to a speed of 6 km/h.

    However, not only the video does not show it in operation in situ, but does not even show it running at all. The presentation instead consists of stills showing someone sitting in it and entering or exiting.

    The story is interesting in that it shows a companies rushing to demonstrate the technology and how it can be used.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:11PM (#43259621)
    ...I'm sure it *is* running Linux, seeing as there is no driver for it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:15PM (#43259637)

    View page without javascript and see the wonder that is link spam.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      the whole thing is a spammers site, look at the url and content, slashdot editors fooled again, there has never been a decent human soul involved with that site, its all probably automated scraped content as well, sad really for everyone involved, misdirected talent.

  • It drives on sidewalks and is intended for the elderly. It's more wheelchair than car. I don't understand the purpose of a closed cabin if it doesn't go very fast.

  • Does that helmet climbs on to the heads of the passengers itself? Or the passenger has to put it on himself?
  • "shiotsu-used-car.com"... This article should be pulled and whoever edited this fired. This is getting beyond a joke and the editors have completely failed to see a 100% obvious spam website. The video is nothing but 6 images with fade outs and ins. Fucking retards.
    • by Legion303 (97901)

      "This article should be pulled and whoever edited this fired."

      As soon as I read that I thought "probably Timothy." And oh, hey...

  • ... for the car. They called it ARMPITS.
  • by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @07:33PM (#43260105) Homepage Journal

    Something wicked that link hides: "Web Site Blocked by NETGEAR Firewall"
    http://www.shiotsu-used-car.com/blog/hitachi-selfdrivingroboticcar-ropits.htm [shiotsu-used-car.com]

    Made it past my HOSTS file and got caught by my router which is set up
    for the Android Motorola XOOM and Playstation 3 (blocking the tracker Playstation.net).

    You can complain about tracking, post to articles about it being wrong or you can do something about it.

  • it's the kind of thing that I could and would definitely use.

  • The company conducted a test in Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture) within a roughly 18 km wide sidewalk.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This link includes some more information, as well as a link to a Youtube video of the car in action:

    http://www.gizmag.com/hitachi-ropits-self-driving-urban-vehicle/26727/

  • The silicon valley commute on 101 is no fun anymore, robot car take it from here please.

    I dream of getting in the backseat of my car, punching in work parking lot, then reading/napping/web surfing as my robot car takes special robot only right of way routes, traffic lights, and such until I'm at work. The same heading home afterward.

  • Hell of a day, innit? De-do-doo.

  • At 6 kilometers per hour, it will only take 5 hours to get to work instead of the 20 minutes it takes right now. Also, if I get bored, I can get off and walk. Of course, I would need to stop once in awhile and wait for it to to catch up.
    • by volmtech (769154)
      An old lady muttered at my as I strode around her in a bank lobby years ago, "You will be old some day". When your hips wear out, 6 kph is a pretty good pace. So, yeah, you will be old some day.
  • Any manga/anime enthusiast knows the series started with a device just like this...
  • I ended up in Tsukuba a few years back in the middle of the night, lost, with no GPS, and I don't speak a lick of English. I finally found a bus station and waited for a half-hour in the cold before one came by. I got on and it was just me and the driver and he spoke no English. Finally, by sketching out landmarks near my hotel, he managed to figure out where I needed to go and let me off at the nearest stop with some gestured-directions.

    Anything that would have made that experience more pleasant is gladly

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