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Field Test of New Transportation Service using Automatic Driving Vehicle Takes Place

Robot Town Sagami


Kanagawa Prefectural Government is aiming to create safe and secure community through practical application and promotion of life supporting robots based on the Sagami Robotics Industry Special Zone policy.


One of the main programs of the special zone is “automatic driving robot utilization service”.  In cooperation with the City of Yokohama, Kanagawa will conduct field test of the new service, which can be joined by the general public, in the Minatomirai district.

Photo: Automatic driving vehicle


In this field test, the new transportation service “Easy Ride” using an automatic driving vehicle will be demonstrated.  Easy Ride is developed jointly by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and DeNA Co., Ltd. as a new type of mobility assistance to supplement the existing transportation service.  It will allow you to travel from anywhere to any place you like by automatic driving vehicle.  Users can set the destination, request vehicle allocation and make payment through the mobile app.  For the future, we are aiming to establish the new system ensuring safety of customers using a remote control system even during unmanned operation.

Easy Ride logo


Public participation in the test is available from Monday, March 5 to Sunday, March 18, 2018.  The manned automatic driving car will carry passengers on the pre-set route.


Participants are recruited until Monday, January 15, 2018 through the official website (https://easy-ride.com).  Why don’t you join the test and experience the future transportation system?



Who Won the Prize? The 3rd High-schoolers’ Contest for “Hospitality Idea” to Welcome Foreign Visitors   


Photo: Award ceremony with the students

Kanagawa Prefectural Government and four universities that have tourism faculty or department (Shoin University, Tokai University, Bunkyo University and Yokohama College of Commerce) have established Kanagawa Tourism University Promotion Council.  The Council held “The 3rd High-schoolers’ Contest for Hospitality Idea to Welcome Foreign Visitors” and invited entries from September 1 to 29, 2017.


The Contest received as many as 414 creative ideas.  As a result of the screening, winners of the grand prize, excellent prize, two good idea prizes, a special prize and 20 challenge prizes were decided.  With the participation of the students who made up these unique ideas, the award presentation ceremony was held on November 25.  Let’s see some of the unique prize-winning ideas.


[Grand prize]
Winner:Ms. Miyu Yamanaka, Prefectural Fujisawa Sogo High School
Title:Let’s travel around Kamakura by the nostalgic railway of Enoden!  A journey to find specialgoshuin

This is a group tour of foreign and Japanese people to visit temples and shrines in the ancient capital of Kamakura and collect stamps calledgoshuin, a proof of having visited the shrine, while enjoying local gourmet. Goshuinis collected on a notebook calledgoshuin-chowith elaborate design specially made for this purpose.  At the end, the teams show the stamps on theirgoshuin-choeach other and give them to the foreign participants as a token of the tour.


[Excellent prize]
Winner:Ms. Mao Kawaguchi, Prefectural Commercial High School

Visiting shrines and temples, including the Great Buddha of Kotoku-in Temple, by bicycle rented at the station, members enjoy the atmosphere of the old capital city of Kamakura.  In the afternoon, the participants visit a samurai experience facility where they can wear samurai costume and try a martial art.


[Good idea prize]
Winner:Ms. Izumi Sugizaki, Prefectural Fujisawa Sogo High School
Title:Enoshima tour to seek healing

Enoshima Island is also called “the island of cats”.  In this tour, teams of Japanese and foreign participants compete for the number of cats they find.


Winner:Ms. Yuna Hatanaka, Prefectural Aihara High School
Title:Feel the festival of Shiroyama by your body from tip to toe

Shiroyama-matsuri is an annual festival of Kawajiri-hachiman-gu Shrine in Sagamihara City, which is selected as one of the 50 festivals of Kanagawa.  Not merely for worshipping, participants will actually join the festival music performance and portable shrine parade after practice in the three-day trip.


[Special prize]
Winner:Ms. Rina Akazawa, Prefectural Kanagawa Sogo High School
Title:Trip on the chronological table

A tour to visit various historical spots in Kanagawa chronologically.  Fist the tour goes to the remains of pit-dwelling and Old Stone Age Learning Center in Sagamihara City.  Then participants move to Kamakura and take a photo in samurai costume.  Next day after visiting Tsurugaoka-hachiman-gu Shrine, they move on to the last leg of the tour, Perry Memorial Hall in Uraga, where Commodore Perry arrived to urge Japan to end the long seclusion policy.  And then they try the famous Yokosuka Navy Curry for lunch.



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