Self-driving is disrupting transportation system, DeNA launches first Self Drive shuttle in Tokyo

Date: Jul 09 , 2016

Electric and self-driving vehicle will disrupt the transportation market, generating a complex scenario of new opportunities, new needs and issues to be resolved. Many companies are working on this technology and test in actual environment is going on. Tesla alone has conducted a huge number of test on road and still going on.

Another very futuristic company NEXT is putting their passion and act together to change the scenario of future transportation. Next from Italy is an advanced smart transportation system based on swarms of modular self-driving vehicles.  Each module can join and detach with other modules on standard city roads. When joined, they create an open, bus-like area among modules, allowing passengers to stand and walk from one module to another.

But many challenges are to be address recently a Tesla Model S with the Autopilot system activated was involved in a fatal crash, the first known fatality in a Tesla where Autopilot was active, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating.


In themid of these challenging environment a Self-driving Japanese technology firm DeNA Co. showcased its first self-driving bus in Tokyo, unveiling a vehicle that runs on electricity and can carry 12 passengers.

The EZ10 Robot Shuttle, developed with the partnership with French company Easy Mile, This self driving bus will first be used at a shopping facility in Japan's Chiba from next month.

On this occasion General Manager, Hiroshi Nakajima of DeNA's automotive business said to a news conference “We take safety very seriously, because we worry that there may be a serious accident, we take double or triple safety checks and begin from there."

The limited-time service, dubbed Robot Shuttle, will begin on a yet-to-be-determined date in August inside the 21,000 sq.- meter Toyosuna Park in Chiba’s Makuhari district, adjacent to vast Aeon shopping complex.

The exact details are still being discussed with Aeon, which jointly oversees the park with the city of Chiba.

Based on the technical data, know-how and experience, Nakajima said he hopes to extend the service area to the entire Aeon complex, this will make easier to get around the mega mall.


He said the Robot Shuttle technology can be used to facilitate movement in factories, amusement parks, universities and other such facilities.

Nakajima said the bus service will be targeted at private facilities such as the Aeon shopping complex, while its taxis will ply the nation’s roads. Currently, under Japanese law, self-driving cars need a driver on hand to operate on public roads.


EZ10 Features:

Customizable and scalable service

EZ10 needs only light infrastructure to operate and meets smart transportation requirements.

The shuttle service runs on virtual tracks that can be easily configured to accommodate sudden shifts in demand.

The service operator can set up new timetables and create new virtual stops to facilitate the flow of traffic

Safe and Secure: Due to redundant embedded systems inspired by aeronautics, EZ10 ensures the safety of passengers and road users from road hazards and technical failures.


Hybrid sensing approach combines shuttle localization through vision, laser and differential GPS, ensures smooth operation irrespective of infrastructure constraints, visibility and/or weather conditions.

Detection of static or moving objects and people relies on redundant perception systems. Upon detection EZ10 adjust its trajectory and speed leading to obstacle avoidance.

A ‘safety chain’ as a standalone collision avoidance feature adds to the vehicle and user safety.

Fleet management software enables the remote and real time monitoring and control of the fleet of EZ10 shuttles.


The EZ10 is manufactured by French light weight automobile maker Ligier. Founded  in 1971 and with a background in motor racing (including 20 years in Formula 1),  Ligier is the second largest European micro car provider.


EZ10 is an electric people mover. It can transport up to 12 people (6 seating positions and 6 standing positions) and can cater to reduced mobility passengers.


The shuttle has no steering wheel and neither dedicated front nor back. At any point on its route EZ10 can easily change its direction without needing a short turn.


3 modes of operation:

Metro mode the shuttles stop at all stations EZ10 follows a set timetable and passengers can get on

or off at any station.

Bus mode the shuttle stops at a station on request; EZ10 operates like a bus covering a predefined route and stops at stations on boarding or alighting passengers request only.

Metro and Bus mode offers another set of features in “horizontal lift” mode EZ10 operates back and forth in a single traffic lane.

Loop mode  EZ10 operates in a loop.

On Demand service mode, EZ10 can be called like a taxi Service request to destination is performed using a Smartphone app.



Capacity: 12 persons (6 seating and 6 standing)

Cruising speed: 20 km/h

Maximum speed: 40 km/k

Propulsion engine: Electric asynchronous

Autonomy: up to 14 hours of operations.

Battery: Lithium-ion (LiFeP04)

Battery Charger: 110V – 230V 16A

Length:  3,928 m / 154.6“

Width: 1,986 m / 78.2“

Height: 2,750 m / 108.3“

Wheelbase: 2,800 m / 110.2”

Payload: 1700 kg / 3740 lbs

Fully loaded: 2800 kg / 6160 lbs