Japan's knowledge and passion for robotics is pretty much known to everyone, and the country has never shied from using it for fun and quirk--a Japanese university team recently even developed a robot dog. Now thanks to a partnership between the Kuro Neko (Black Cat) Yamato delivery company and mobile portal and e-commerce company DeNa, Japanese people can soon expect self-driven cars that deliver shipments right to their door.


Source: Yamato

Called "Robo Neko", or "Robot Cat", the service will allow customers to place and track their orders via a company app. Upon delivery, it is then up to the customers to open the vehicle and unload their ordered package by themselves. Both companies feel that the service would be of use to elderly and busy customers, who even may find the act of going to the local convenience store a hassle. The service seems similar to a driverless bus and taxi system that DeNA has been trialing, and hopes to perfect by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics--which will be restricted to special areas. A video by The Japan Times illustrates the service here:

Obviously, safety concerns are a top priority. Trial runs of the robot service require supervision by actual staff members, but DeNA and Yamato are actually hoping that an efficiently run system will help out with road safety. As the delivery services is expected to launch in March 2017, there are still safety and surveillance details to be released. The confidence in even considering un-manned delivery vans speaks to the expectations of not only safety regulations in Japan, but the lawful cooperation of citizens to not just run up and unload an unguarded shipment vehicle.


Source: Yamato

By - grape Japan editorial staff.