Self-driving cart tested near hospital in western Japan

A self-driving cart could help transport vulnerable people near a hospital in western Japan's Hyogo Prefecture, where riders went on a test run.

The one-seater cart travels on a 1.2-kilometer preset route between a medical center and a railway station in Himeji City. It can reach a maximum speed of up to 6 kilometers per hour.

The vehicle stops whenever it detects pedestrians or obstacles in front of it. It also announces whether it will turn right or left at corners. It can stop and move forward according to traffic signals.

The cart travelled the course for about 20 minutes in test runs on Monday and Tuesday.

One woman who rode it said, "The cart felt safe as it checked surrounding conditions and notified me."
The prefecture plans to analyze the effectiveness of the vehicle as a means of transportation for hospital users.