April 8, 2019
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) will jointly start a new project titled “Smart Mobility Challenge.” Based on the forecast of the future realization of autonomous driving society, this initiative aims to: solve challenges in mobility and vitalize regional areas through implementation of new mobility services in society; and encourage such areas and companies to proactively take on such challenges through their cooperation. Under the project, METI and MLII will establish a council in which a broad range of people from regional areas, companies and other entities participate. The council will encourage participants to share information on specific demands and solutions, will analyze leading efforts by regional areas to determine the business feasibility of the efforts in such areas and other initiatives, and will advance extracting of best practices and streamlining of cross-sectoral challenges.
As the current waves brought about by the fourth industrial revolution arrive to the field of mobility, mobility services taking advantage of IoT and AI as new means are becoming popular. Advancement of new mobility services is expected to make transfer more comfortable with higher added value. In addition, it will also be expected to contribute to the vitalization of a broad range of industries.
2. Outline of the Smart Mobility Challenge Project
METI and MLIT will jointly start a new project titled “Smart Mobility Challenge,” aiming to solve challenges in mobility and support regional areas and companies taking on vitalization of such areas through implementation of new mobility services in society.
Specifically, METI and MLIT will establish a Council for Promoting the Smart Mobility Challenge Project. The council will promote sharing of information on efforts taken by regional areas, companies and other entities through convening of region-based symposiums and other events and will advance networking among such areas and companies.
Moreover, the ministries will conduct measures for supporting regional areas taking on pioneering efforts called “pilot areas” in formulating business plans and analyses of potential business effects. For details of the call for pilot areas and the program for selecting them, METI will announce them soon after they are fixed.
As for other efforts, MLIT will implement a Project for Promotion of New Mobility Services (FY2019 new project) in collaboration with the Smart Mobility Challenge Project. The MLIT Project aims to support demonstration tests for new mobility services across Japan, e.g., efforts involving MaaS, and to establish role models to solve challenges in regional transportation services.
Note: If you satisfy the requirements of the Smart Mobility Challenge Project, you are entitled to apply for a call for the selection of pilot areas whether or not you actually file an application for the call. METI will start the call soon.
3. Outline of the members participating in the Council for Promoting the Smart Mobility Challenge Project
The council will consist of a broad range of representatives of regional municipalities, companies and other entities who agree with the purpose of the project and are willing to share information on current situations of their own efforts and challenges of which they aware and other issues. For details of requirements for members of the council, METI will release them on the website for the campaigns of the council which METI plans to open.
Reference 1: Expected members of the council (34 members as of April 8, 2019)
akippa Inc.; WHILL, Inc.; SB Drive Corp.; NTT Docomo, Inc.; Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd.; KT Group Co., Ltd.; Sumitomo Corporation; Japan Taxi Co., Ltd.; JCoMaaS; JTB Communication Design, Inc.; Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum; ZMP Inc.; SoftBank Corp.; DeNA Co., Ltd.; Denso Corporation; Denno Kotsu, Inc.; Toyota Motor Corporation; Toyota Tsusho Corporation; Navitime Japan Co., Ltd.; Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Japan Post Co., Ltd.; East Japan Railway Company; Hino Motors, Ltd.; Broad Band Promotion Association; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Mazda Motor Corporation; Michinori Holdings; Mitsui & Co., Ltd.; Mirai Share; Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.; MONET Technologies. Inc.; Mori Building Co., Ltd.; Yamato Transport Co., Ltd.; and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
Reference 2: Committee of Planning and Management
METI and MLIT will establish a Committee of Planning and Management of experts as a body for examination of important issues for operating the Smart Mobility Challenge Project.
Reference 3: Background to the past discussions at METI and MLIT
METI inaugurated the Study Group on New Mobility as Service Brought About by IoT and AI and the study group started discussions in June 2018 and released an interim report in October 2018. Furthermore, METI exchanged views with municipalities and companies after the release of the interim report and, as an outcome of the effort, streamlined key points of vitalization of new mobility services. In addition, based on the discussion results of the study group, the Strategic Commission for the New Era of Automobiles held its first meeting on April 8, 2019, and decided to start the Smart Mobility Challenge Project mentioned above.
Meanwhile, based on the discussion results of the Working Group for New Mobility Services in Cities and Regional Areas, MLIT decided to advance the Project for Promotion of New Mobility Services to achieve the Japanese MaaS project as early as possible, an effort characterized by: universalization, high added value to mobility through collaboration with a variety of services and collaboration with efforts for ideal development of cities. In collaboration with METI, MLIT also decided to develop a certain level of rules for data sharing among companies involving MaaS and between companies in the field of transportation and companies involving MaaS so that MLIT can establish a framework in which businesses are able to provide mobility services as smoothly as possible at low cost.
4. Links to related information (URL)
- Website released by the Council for Promoting the Smart Mobility Challenge Project (in Japanese)(PDF:5KB)
- Website released by the Strategic Commission for the New Era of Automobiles (in Japanese)(PDF:5KB)
- Interim Report of the Working Group for New Mobility Services in Cities and Regional Areas (in Japanese)
Division in Charge
- Information on the Smart Mobility Challenge Project:
Project Team on Mobility and Future Communities and Cities, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, METI
- Information on the Project for Promotion of New Mobility Services:
Transport Planning Division, Public Transport Policy Department, Logistics Policy Division, Policy Bureau, MLIT
- Contact counter of the secretariat:
Global Infrastructure Consulting Department, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.