Hitachi has revealed a tiny single-seat vehicle called Ropits; that’s Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System. Ropit is a robot vehicle that can pick up and drop off passengers independently. Just punch in the destination and it will take you there. The vehicle is meant to travel on sidewalks and Hitachi had demonstrated its capability in the city of Tsukuba today. There will be more tests to come.
Ropit finds its way using GPS and relies on cameras and 2D + 3D laser distance sensors to avoid pedestrians and other obstacles. It will also slow down in narrow spaces and is equipped with gyro sensors to maintain its upright position on uneven surfaces.
Passengers board the Ropit by climbing in through the front hatch. The passenger will then program the destination via a touch-screen tablet interface and Ropit will drive there on its own. Should there be emergencies, passenger can take manual control of the Ropit using the joystick located in the cockpit.
Ropit is aimed at the elderly and people with walking impairment Powered by a lithium ion battery, it can travel at speeds of 3.7 mph and reportedly reach its destination with error margins of up to 3 feet.