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Hitachi devises tablet-controlled one-man EV for elderly

Kyodo

Hitachi Ltd. has developed a one-seater electric vehicle to aid senior citizens and people with mobility disabilities. The vehicle’s course and transport time can be programmed via map-loaded tablet PC. It can only be used on sidewalks.

To detect bumps and uneven sections on sidewalks, Hitachi’s Robot for Personal Intelligent Transportation System (ROPITS) vehicle relies on an enhanced 3-D geometric map produced by electronic mapping data of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, backed up with real-time kinematic GPS satellite feeds.

Hitachi said it recently produced a map for a roughly 18-km stretch of sidewalk in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and conducted transport tests on ROPITS. The results showed that the vehicle arrived at designated locations with error margins of up to 1 meter, according to Hitachi.