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Japan's First Semi-Autonomous Public Transit Vehicle

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Oct. 7, 2020—The Japanese mountain village of Kamikoani, Akita Perfecture has the country's first self-driving, paid public transit, electric car. 

According to Kyodo News, Kamikoani has a population of 2,200 residents, most of whom are elderly. The vehicle, named the Koani Car, was first launched in the  village last November and was designed to carry up to five passengers. The vehicle links neighborhoods, village offices, a clinic, and a post office for the residents of this small town. 

Asa Ishikami, an 85-year-old resident of the mountain village says, "It's really convenient for me, as I live alone and have no other means to travel distances that are a little far." 

Image: Kyodo News

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