All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced the carrier will be testing self-driving vehicles at Tokyo's Narita Airport on February 27th and 28th. The new carts are meant to assist passengers that may have difficulty walking long distances. Narita Airport is the largest international airport in Japan, and passengers often have to walk a pretty long distance to get to where they need to be.
The RakuRo is a small self-driving vehicle that has been developed by ZMP Inc. The company stated that these self-driving autonomous mobility assistance vehicles are not only able to assist those with walking difficulties, but also they can be helpful for those with heavy luggage or who are traveling with young children. The adorable looking vehicles are designed to seat one person, though a small child may also fit comfortably fit on the laps.
The testing is part of a new program in Japan that was created to embrace new technologies and incorporate them into everyday life. The goal of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is to bring these new technologies into areas for people who enjoy the most benefit.
The testing of the RakuRo will only be for two days during this trial period. While we aren't sure if further tests will be conducted once the data from the upcoming test has been evaluated, officials for Narita Airport have not confirmed if they will incorporate these self-driving vehicles into the airport in the future. Be that as it may, it is safe to assume it's a possibility there if things turn out well.
The testing of the new autonomous mobility assistance vehicles comes after the airport tested self-driving wheelchairs last year. Those were very successful in their testing phase, and it is assumed that eventually, they will appear at Narita and other airports in Japan.