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  • April 2016
  • Authorization of Demonstration Tours Using Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices in the Futako-Tamagawa Area: A Plan for New Business Activities under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act

Authorization of Demonstration Tours Using Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices in the Futako-Tamagawa Area: A Plan for New Business Activities under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act- A Futako-Tamagawa Segway Tour initiative will start! -

On March 23, 2016, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) authorized a plan for new business activities under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act), which was submitted by Segway Japan, Ltd. and Tokyu Corporation. The plan is to conduct a field test for driving electric personal assistive mobility devices on public roads in the Futako-Tamagawa area.

With this authorization, an initiative called “Futako-Tamagawa Segway Tour” will start. After demonstrating the safety of the devices in the trial operation starting on April 5, 2016, tours targeting the public will start around mid-summer.

This authorization allows the companies to develop a variety of services utilizing the devices and the effort is expected to contribute to realizing the goal set in the New Robot Strategy: “Japan as the center for utilization of the world’s state-of-the-art robot technology.”

1. Utilization of the System of Special Arrangements for Corporate Field Tests

The System of Special Arrangements for Corporate Field Tests under the Act is a framework for allowing preferential regulatory flexibility for individual enterprises. Under this system, each private company is able to request that the Government of Japan apply a special arrangement for regulatory reform to the company, which is a requirement for creating new business. In response, government ministers with jurisdiction over the business and the regulations examine and discuss the request, and then decide whether to approve the request under the special arrangement.

On March 26, 2015, under Article 8 of the Act, the companies submitted a request for newly creating a special arrangement under the regulations for conducting a field test for driving electric personal assistive mobility devices on public roads. In response, METI, the ministry in charge of business in the industry, and the National Public Safety Commission (NPSC) under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the agency in charge of regulations in the industry, examined the request, and, on April 27, 2015, decided to create a special arrangement for new regulations, stipulating that the scope of the permission for using public roads is to be expanded so that the companies are able to use public roads for conducting the field test as new business activities according to the submitted plan.

The authorization of a plan for new business activities is a prerequisite for starting new business utilizing these special arrangements.

2. Authorization of the two companies’ plan for new business activities and its outline

METI and NPSC examined the plan for new business activities submitted by the two companies (Segway Japan, Ltd. and Tokyu Corporation) under the provisions of Article 10 (4) of the Act, concerning a field test for driving electric personal assistive mobility devices on public roads in the Futako-Tamagawa area.

As a result of the examination, METI and NPSC concluded that the companies satisfied the requirements under the Act as entities that are conducting new business, as stipulated under Article 2 (3) of the Act, and on March 23, 2016, authorized the action plan. This authorization will enable the companies to make use of a new special arrangement for the regulations and to embark on new business. For further details, see Appendices 1 and 2.

3. Futako-Tamagawa Segway Tour

With this authorization, a field test called “Futako-Tamagawa Segway Tour” will start on April 5, 2016. This test will provide participants with a variety of tours, including public roads around Futako-Tamagawa Station, Setagaya Futako-Tamagawa Park, and the riverbed of the Tama River. After demonstrating the safety of the devices in the trial operation starting on April 5, 2016, tours targeting the public will start around tmid-summer. In the tours, participants will learn how to drive a Segway and will take a one-hour tour in Futako-Tamagawa town.

For more information, visit the following website.
http://www.tamagawa-segway.info External Site Link

4. Implementation period of the plan

From March 2016 to March 2018

5. Outline of the applicants

Name: Segway Japan, Ltd.
Capital: 22,000,000 yen
Representative: Hiroshi Otsuka, president
Head office: Sozokukan Bankokubashi SOKO 303, 4-24, Kaigandori, Naka-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture

Name: Tokyu Corporation
Capital: 121,724,000,000 yen
Representative: Hirofumi Nomoto, president
Head office: 5-6 Nanpeidai-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Reference

For more information on laws and related supportive programs, visit the following website exclusively for this effort:
http://www.meti.go.jp/policy/jigyou_saisei/kyousouryoku_kyouka/index.html

Release date

April 5, 2016

Division in Charge

Industrial Machinery Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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