Sony plans to use a new tech to help the 2020 Tokyo Olympics transport people who might be interested in some robotics technology demonstrations.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s plan calls for busses and hoverbikes to shuttle people around venues for competitions during the next summer games, much like autonomous coaches and cars would ferry employees and travelers around before the Olympics.

The robot taxis would use touchscreens on their steering wheels to select passengers.

Sony Electronics — which offers robot-related products like autonomous robo-door closers, robotic vacuum cleaners and actuators for robotics — is partnering with a group called Tokyo 2020 Solutions, founded by Toyota, to build a robot taxi.

Sony says one-fourth of the 50 to 100 autonomous buses that will be the main form of transportation on the August 2020 Olympics village can be electrically driven with the help of an AV like the Nikola Motor Company’s autonomous Superleggera J1.

“With this game-changing vehicle from Sony, games and entertainment players can participate in the Olympic vision of ‘interconnected service’ and thus promote the winning Tokyo 2020 Olympic motto of ‘Bring Happiness to All,’ ” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of Tokyo 2020 Solutions, in a press release.

Sony will supply the three-wheeled hoverbike, and a group including Toshiba, Nichicon and Pioneer, which are collaborating with Prime Focus, will provide the face- and voice-sensing AR/VR to interact with the driverless vehicles.

The bikes will be powered by the NXT concept technology Sony released in the late 1990s to compete in the race to wire up homes. The hoverbikes were developed by Universal Robots, a then-independent company Sony acquired in 2011, and were released in 2011. They are still being used by automakers and defense contractors to build machines that fold their own laundry, climb stairs and drive cars.

This latest initiative with the Olympics demonstrates that as Sony tries to be the first major electronics company to pioneer augmented and virtual reality, the company will also be looking to make headway into the vehicle market.

Sony plans to reveal more about the planned autonomous bus system at a public event on Dec. 9 in Tokyo.

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