Association, Inc.

Issue No. 1, 2014

Smart mobility for the future experienced at Tokyo Motor Show

In view of the acclaim it generated at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show in 2011, the ‘Smart Mobility City’ initiative was once more a highlight of the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show in 2013.  This innovative exhibit provided a glimpse of lifestyles of the future, thanks to collaboration among the automotive, housing, telecommunications, and other sectors, with additional input from government agencies and private research institutes.

More specifically, Smart Mobility City 2013 enabled visitors, through a range of exhibits, events, and test drives, to gain a better understanding of how next-generation vehicles will interact with urban infrastructure and daily life.

A particular focus was on the advanced IT and communications technologies-based road-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems which will significantly enhance road transport in urban areas by making it safer and more efficient as well as more convenient.  Test drives showcased advanced driver-assist systems and automated driving, which, along with other new vehicle technologies, were also the subject of broad-ranging discussions at international symposiums featuring representatives from automobile manufacturers, ITS Japan, Google, Toshiba, and academia.

Other issues explored at Smart Mobility City included balancing sustainable growth with the mobility demands of mega-city living.  Personal mobility options such as micro-mobility—that is, electric vehicles designed for one or two passengers—will not only facilitate displacement in congested urban environments but also reduce energy consumption and emissions.  Micro-mobility will, moreover, offer a viable solution for elderly citizens in a rapidly ageing society such as Japan’s.

Easy connection between public transport modes will also be a benefit of smart mobility.  Shared vehicles will be linked through telecommunications networks to other modes such as trains and rental bicycles, so as to connect communities and offer tailored services for individual mobility needs.  Connecting vehicles to municipal energy grids, furthermore, will allow them to perform as integral elements in those systems.  Electricity generated through renewable energy will be able to be stored in a car, either to power the vehicle or to serve as a power source for the home.

With the wide spectrum of contributors to its displays and events, Smart Mobility City 2013 provided a fascinating look into the possibilities offered by connectivity and sustainable new technologies, enabling accessible, smart mobility for all in our cities of the future.
Further information on Smart Mobility City 2013 can be found here.