Aug 06, 2020 13:36 JST

Source: Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation: Trials of "KnowRoute", AI-Controlled On-Demand Bus Service to Commence in Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture


TOKYO, Aug 06, 2020 - (JCN Newswire) - Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is part of a consortium that is set to commence trial operations of a mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) project in Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture. The "Shiojiri Project" is being undertaken as part of an initiative launched by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to promote new, regional MaaS applications(1). MC's partners in the consortium include Next Mobility Co., Ltd. (Next Mobility) and, the municipal government of Shiojiri City. Next Mobility is a joint venture between MC and Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd. (NNR).

As a digital transformation experiment in public transportation, the Shiojiri Project will take advantage of an AI-controlled, on-demand bus service called KnowRoute(2) for specified, inter-regional routes, and driverless vehicles for intra-regional routes.

Project Aims

Other than rail, the only means of public transportation in Shiojiri City is a community bus service, but it has been hampered by a lack of drivers, a limited fleet, and other problems. The city is also aging. About 28% of its roughly 67,000 residents are at least 65 years old, which has led to an even greater need for public transportation. The Shiojiri Project aims to address both of these challenges.

Project Overview

The Shiojiri Project includes KnowRoute system trial and driverless vehicles trial, which are set to commence in the city within this fiscal year. With an aim to have the former officially up and running from the beginning of fiscal year 2021 or sometime thereafter, the consortium's next move will be to substantiate a regionally optimized implementation plan.

- KnowRoute System Trials
The main purpose of these trials will be to assess how practical and effective the KnowRoute system is within specified areas, but they will also define a pricing scheme for future introduction of a dynamic-pricing system, whereby bus fares will vary according to supply and demand.

- Driverless Vehicle Trials
The purpose of these trials is to assess the practicality and safety of using driverless vehicles equipped with a remote-monitoring system on the region's public roads. The trials will be performed by consortium members Aisan Technology Co., Ltd. and Tier IV, Inc., the respective providers of the 3D mapping and autopilot systems.

Through this project, MC aims to leverage its expansive network and customer base to build a safe and sustainable, next-generation model for public transportation and offer a convenient mobility service to regions in Japan that are facing challenges in that space.

(1) The objectives of this initiative are to use field trials to make new mobility services more commercially viable and socially acceptable, and to promote their applications to benefit regions both socially and economically. Organizations and regions are invited to prepare projects and carry out trials, and the costs of those projects that are adopted are covered in part by the government.
(2) Developed by Next Mobility, KnowRoute is an on-demand bus service that has been operating in the Island City area of Fukuoka City since April 2019. Instead of having predetermined routes and schedules, the customer-request-based system uses AI to figure out the most efficient routes for picking up and dropping off users who are going in the same direction. Starting this year, Next Mobility plans to develop the service and its operational know-how in other areas across Japan. Since June of this year, it has been operating as an alternative to a community bus service in the Iki-Minami area of Fukuoka City.


About Mitsubishi Corporation
Mitsubishi Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates business across virtually every industry including industrial finance, energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, foods, and environmental business. Mitsubishi Corporation's current activities are expanding far beyond its traditional trading operations as its diverse business ranges from natural resources development to investment in retail business, infrastructure, financial products and manufacturing of industrial goods.

For more information on Mitsubishi Corporation, please visit the company's website at https://www.mitsubishicorp.com/jp/en/.


Contact:
Mitsubishi Corporation
Telephone:+81-3-3210-2171
Facsimile:+81-3-5252-7705
Source: Mitsubishi Corporation
Sectors: Automotive, AI

Copyright ©2020 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Related Press Release


Mitsubishi Corporation: Use of CO2 in Concrete / Partnership with Blue Planet Systems Corporation
September 23 2020 15:00 JST
 
Mitsubishi Corporation and Surbana Jurong Joint Venture to Form Partnership with SinarMas Land to Advance Smart, Sustainable Transit-Oriented Developments in Indonesia
September 15 2020 08:41 JST
 
Mitsubishi Corporation Releases Financial Results for the Three Months Ended June 2020
August 13 2020 14:33 JST
 
Mitsubishi Corporation: Commercial Operations Commence at Cameron LNG
August 11 2020 08:07 JST
 
Mitsubishi Corporation: R&D on Use of CO2 in Concrete
August 05 2020 10:13 JST
 
Mitsubishi Coporation: Initiation of "Technology Development for Para-xylene Production from CO2"
July 14 2020 08:51 JST
 
NTT Anode Energy and Mitsubishi Corporation Agree to Study Cooperation in the Energy Sector Business
June 30 2020 11:40 JST
 
Mitsubishi Corporation and NTT complete investment in HERE Technologies
June 02 2020 13:54 JST
 
'e5 Consortium' Established to Promote Zero-Emission Electric Vessel
May 21 2020 14:34 JST
 
Mitsubishi Corporation and SOHGO SECURITY SERVICES Agree to Strategic Partnership in Facility Management Business
March 30 2020 15:28 JST
 
More Press release >>

Latest Press Release


More Latest Release >>