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Nissan Moves To Become A Ride Hailing Company With Public Trial Of Its Easy Ride Service

Nissan Moves To Become A Ride Hailing Company With Public Trial Of Its Easy Ride Service
Japanese auto maker Nissan is planning to enter the market of operator of autonomous transportation services which is dominated by the likes of Uber and other technology firms because they anticipate that vehicle ownership may get reduced in the future due to fleets of self-driving cars.
Starting next month, Nissan would begin pubic field trials for its Easy Ride service in Yokohama jointly with DeNA Co. – a Japanese mobile gaming platform and operator. This will make the company the first global auto company that would be testing out ride-hailing software that have been developed in-house and making use of its own fleet of electric powered cars.
The company plans to transform Easy Ride into a custodian service while driving and make recommendations for users for example, while they ride the car, and plans to introduce the service in Japan in early 2020s.
It was earlier in the month that Nissan agreed to look into potential co-working opportunities with Chinese transportation services firm Didi Chuxing along with its partners Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
This is part of the strategy of the company to become a firm that makes not only cars but also offers services of ride- and car-sharing for users.
“We realize that it’s going to take time to become a service operator, but we want to enter into this segment by partnering with companies which are experts in the field,” Nissan’s chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, told the media earlier this month.
Didi is set to begin a new electric car-sharing service in China soon and Nissan and its partners are looking in to the possibility of supplying electric cars to the ride hailing company for this purpose according to sources quoted in the media.
According to market experts, Nissan should not try and beat competitors like Uber on price but focus on the creation of an upscale autonomous taxi service.
“By doing something with a more premium feel, it could allow Nissan to charge more for its service and potentially relieve some of that profitability pressure they could face if they were to try to race to the bottom in terms of pricing,” said Jeremy Carlson, automotive analyst at IHS Markit.
Itt is estimated that ride sharing business and self-driving cars would lead to a  reduction in ownership of vehicles and therefore automakers are trying to find out all paths that can lead to greater profits.
According to estimates by IHS Markit, from the 51,000 units of annual sale of autonomous vehicles in 2021, the sale would touch over 33 million units in 2040. At the same time, predictions by Goldman Sachs sees an eight times growth by 2030 in the ride-hailing market which will also be five times the total market of taxis currently.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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