January 18, 2019
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) designated February 2019 as “Smart Mobility Promotion Month” aiming to popularize and promote new mobility services or “Mobility as a Service (MaaS)”. In this month, METI will hold related events, including explanation of case examples of leading municipalities and startups that are proactively engaging in solving challenges in regional mobility by introducing new services into their regions.
In light of the outcome of the events, METI will embark on efforts for promoting collaboration between regional areas and companies offering mobility services in FY2019.
1. Purpose of the Smart Mobility Promotion Month campaign
Mobility services is a priority field in the Connected Industries policy. METI considers that vitalization of new mobility services (MaaS), new services that industries are able to provide by taking advantage of IoT and AI, is significant for Japan’s economic growth and industrial sophistication. Therefore, METI convened a Study Group on New Mobility as a Service Brought About by IoT and AI, and in October 2018, it released an interim report based on the discussion results. The interim report presents the importance of “promotion of collaboration between regional areas and startups, cross-sectoral companies or other entities” and “support of regional areas that take on new efforts in collaboration with companies” as future directions of related efforts.
In light of the interim report, METI designated February 2019 as “Smart Mobility Promotion Month” and will hold events aiming to share information on case examples of efforts by municipalities and businesses, including startups, and to provide opportunities for them to collaborate with each other in the future.
For details of these events, see Item 2 “Outline of the events” below.
2. Outline of the events involving the Smart Mobility Promotion Month campaign
(1) Regional Collaboration Meeting on Mobility Services (explanation of efforts by municipalities and businesses)
A) Date and time: February 15 (Fri.), 2019; from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
B) Venue: Hall 5C, TKP Tokyo Station Yaesu Conference Center
- Presentations by representatives from municipalities and businesses, stakeholders of the government, etc.
- Q&A session with participants
D) Speakers (tentative)
Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture; Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture; Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture; Eiheiji Town, Fukui Prefecture; and Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture
NTT Docomo Inc., East Japan Railway Company and MONET Technologies Inc.
Dr. Haruo Ishida, Emeritus Professor, University of Tsukuba; Transport Planning Division, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT); and Automobile Division, METI
E) Target participants: Personnel responsible for mobility areas in municipalities or companies, experts and the press
F) How to apply: If you wish to attend the event, please complete prior registration on the following website.
Visit here for prior registration (closing date: February 8 (Fri.), 2019)
- Accepted on a first-come-first-served basis; acceptance of applications will be closed as soon as the fixed number is reached.
- Up to three applicants by association can be registered.
B. Venture Cafe Tokyo Mobility Pitch (explanation of startups’ efforts)
- Date and time: Every Thursday in February 2019, i.e., February 7, 14, 21 and 28; from 18:00 to 19:00
(This event is part of the J-startup Hour event held by Venture Cafe Tokyo.)
- Venue: Toranomon Hills (1-23-3 Toranomon, Minato Ward, Tokyo)
- Explanation of startups’ efforts (concerning a few startups)
- Panel discussions (by startups and experts)
- Speakers (tentative)
On February 7 (Thur.): Mirai Share (AI-based optimal sharing of automobiles), and Azit Inc. (sharing of automobiles)
On February 14 (Thur.): Via Transportation, Inc. (on-demand shared rides) and WHILL Inc. (personal mobility)
On February 21 (Thur.): akippa Inc. (application for reserving parking lots) and WFrontier Inc. (shopping agency service)
On February 28 (Thur.): Denno Kotsu, Inc. (taxi call center based on cloud computing), NearMe, Inc. (carpooling) and notteco (carpooling)
Facilitator: Ms. Mariko Nishimura, President, HEART CATCH Inc.
- Target participants
Personnel responsible for mobility areas in municipalities, companies and venture capitals; persons who are interested in startup policies
- How to apply: No prior registration is required. Please complete registration at the site on the date.
3. Call for public comments and proposals for future efforts
Aiming to vitalize new mobility services in and after FY2019, METI will fully embark on efforts for promoting collaboration between regional areas and companies. Concerning the results of the events, for e.g., events A and B above, METI will send them to the study group as feedback, whose next meeting is scheduled to be held in March 2019, which will incorporate the results into future discussions on action plans and other documents in and after FY2019.
If you have any comments on the interim report released in October 2018 or comments and proposals for METI’s efforts in and after FY2019, please send them to the following division in charge. METI will make a reference for them in the next discussions at the study group. Moreover, METI will hold a series of events to explain case examples of leading municipalities and companies. If you belong to a company or municipality and wish to make a presentation taking these opportunities, please contact the following division in charge. METI will strive to provide an opportunity for such presentation as far as possible.
Division in Charge
Automobile Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau