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Self-Driving Vehicle Helps Senior Citizens Get Around [Video]

The Hitachi ROPITS concept is a single-seater that lets users enter their destination on a smartphone or tablet.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on March 14, 2013.

The Hitachi ROPITS is a self-driving vehicle concept for one person, aimed at helping senior citizens and disabled people get around town. The ROPITS, which stands for ‘Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System’, is designed to be completely autonomous and can be driven by a smartphone or tablet. You simply enter a destination into the mobile device and the single-seat vehicle will drive the occupant there.

Self-Driving Vehicle Helps Senior Citizens Get Around [Video]

It will be on show at the Robotics and Mechatronics Conference in Japan this May. The Verge reports that Hitachi used a digital map data from Japan’s Geographical Survey Institute and Real-Time Kinematic GPS to produce accurate altitude information. This is combined with data from the vehicle’s on-board sensors to create a 3D map.

The Hitachi ROPITS, which has a top speed of 3.7mph, features stereo cameras and laser rangefinders so it can avoid collisions and obstacles. The self-driving vehicle is able to navigate around them or adjust its speed accordingly, as seen in the video below when the man walks towards it:

Hitachi

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