April 22, 2020
Since June of FY2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have been supporting 28 areas and businesses undertaking public implementation of new mobility services by conducting demonstration tests and other activities as part of the efforts under the Smart Mobility Challenge Project. As an effort in FY2020, the ministries will open a call for applicants for new pilot areas as operators of demonstration tests for MaaS, aiming to promote maintenance of mobility services in various regions and vitalization of regional economies by presenting solutions to five challenges.
1. Outline of efforts under the FY2019 Smart Mobility Challenge Project
METI and MLIT jointly started a new project titled “Smart Mobility Challenge,” aiming to supportregions and companies tackling challenges in mobility and vitalization of such areas through public implementation of new mobility services. As part of the project, in June 2019, the ministries selected 28 areas and businesses: 13 for the Project for the Analysis of Pilot Areas conducted by METI, 19 for the Project for the Promotion of New Mobility Services conducted by MLIT and 4 as operators supported under both of these projects. Since then, the ministries have been supporting these successful applicants in advancing demonstration tests and other activities.
Moreover, the public and private sectors jointly established the Council for Promoting the Smart Mobility Challenge Project as a platform through which the local municipalities, companies and other associations share information on specific demands and solutions to challenges, and the council has so far brought together 228 members, namely 90 municipalities, 116 businesses and 22 associations as of April 13, 2020, and convened eight symposiums across Japan to share case examples of pioneering efforts and provide business-matching opportunities for members.
The ministries organized the insight and information gained through these efforts and compiled a “Collection of Knowledge Useful for Public Implementation of New Mobility Services” as material targeting regions and companies.
- Video clip explaining the Smart Mobility Challenge Project (in Japanese)
- Document 1: Collection of Knowledge Useful for Social Implementation of New Mobility Services (summary) (in Japanese) (PDF:1,775KB)
2. Future directions of the FY2020 Second Smart Mobility Challenge Project
In light of the challenges found in the FY2019 efforts, the Committee of Planning and Management under the council, a body consisting of academic and other experts, advanced discussions on new mobility services that should be promoted in Japan and compiled future directions of the FY2020 Second Smart Mobility Challenges, e.g., promoting efforts for tackling the five challenges. In collaboration with the MLIT “Project for Promoting and Supporting Japanese MaaS” and other initiatives, METI, under the “Project for Creating and Promoting New MaaS in Regions,” will select various regions and businesses subject to support measures, conduct demonstration tests for new mobility services as well as analysis of business feasibility, extract best practices and organize and supervise cross-sectoral challenges. Through these efforts, METI will promote development of the business environment for maintaining regional mobility services and revitalizing regional economies.
- Reference 2: Future directions of the FY2020 Second Smart Mobility Challenge Project (in Japanese) (PDF:3,159KB)
- Reference 3: Member list and achievements at meetings of the Committee of Planning and Management under the Council for Promoting the Smart Mobility Challenge Project (in Japanese) (PDF:112KB)
The results of the Smart Mobility Challenge Project will be reflected in discussions on growth strategies by the Industry-Government Council established under the Future Investment Council of the Japan Economic Revitalization Headquarters. Following this, METI, in collaboration with related ministries and agencies, will hold discussions on ideal approaches to MaaS as a measure for solving issues that regions are facing in such fields as distribution, shopping, medical care and health care by taking advantage of new mobility services.
2. FY2020 call for applicants for pilot areas
As mentioned above, METI will open a call for applicants for pilot areas willing to cooperate in conducting demonstration tests, analysis of business feasibility and other activities under the “Project for Creating and Promoting New MaaS in Region”s, together with the pioneering areas that are already engaged in public implementation of new mobility services. For more information on the call, such as the period of the call, eligible applicants and details of the project, see Appendix 4.
Division in Charge
ITS and Autonomous Driving Promotion Office, Automobile Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, METI