Toyota and SoftBank team up to develop self-driving mobility services
May 20, 2020
Japan’s automotive manufacturer Toyota and investment conglomerate SoftBank have announced a joint venture set to launch by the end of the year, focused primarily on mobility and Autono-MaaS (autonomous mobility as a service) businesses
MONET Technologies Corporation, named as a conjunction of “mobility network”, will combine SoftBank’s corporate philosophy of “Information Revolution – Happiness for Everyone” with Toyota’s “Mobility for All” to build a safe and comfortable mobility network for everyone.
“SoftBank alone and automakers alone can’t do everything. We want to work to help people with limited access to transportation,” said SoftBank’s CTO, Junichi Miyakawa, who will take charge of MONET as CEO.
The JV will coordinate the functions of SoftBank’s IoT platform and Toyota’s mobility services platform to optimize the transportation supply chain, and will subsequently launch MaaS businesses that will solve mobility issues in society whilst generating value.
MONET’s initial operations will be focused in Japan, where it will launch just-in-time vehicle dispatch services for public agencies and private firms, including on-demand transport via regional partnerships and corporate shuttles tailored to demand.
By the mid-to-late 2020s, MONET will roll out e-Palette-based Autono-MaaS operations.
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e-Palette is Toyota’s battery vehicle dedicated to mobility services that has myriad functional uses, including mobility, logistics, and even as mobile office space.
Plans for the Autono-MaaS services include meal delivery services which prepare meals en route, medical shuttles equipped with necessary technology for onboard medical examinations, and more.
According to Reuters, Toyota president Akio Toyoda said:
“We are trying to take traditional car making into new fields.”
“We realised that SoftBank shares the same vision when it comes to the future of cars, so it’s time that we partner together.”