Isuzu Joins Self-Driving Transport Initiative

Isuzu Motors Ltd. (Isuzu) has officially joined a multi-party agreement to promote digital transformation (DX) in regional transportation. This collaboration, initially formed by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and four other entities, is set to transform Hiratsuka City’s transit system through autonomous driving services.

Isuzu’s entry into the agreement on January 19, 2024, marks a pivotal expansion of the consortium, originally established on April 7, 2023. The partnership includes MC, Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Chuo Kotsu Co., Ltd., Aisan Technology Co., Ltd., and A-Drive Inc. This alliance underscores a shared commitment to leveraging DX for enhanced mobility solutions.

Recognized for addressing mobility and logistics challenges through innovative DX approaches, Isuzu’s values and objectives seamlessly align with the consortium’s mission. This synergy has paved the way for Isuzu’s logical inclusion in the autonomous-driving project.

The collaboration’s immediate action under this enhanced agreement is the launch of a self-driving bus proof of concept (PoC) in Hiratsuka City. This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, which provides subsidies for projects aiming to sustain or improve regional public transport systems. The PoC represents a critical step in assessing the commercial viability of autonomous driving solutions.

1. Objective of the Agreement The primary aim of this six-party agreement is to rejuvenate Japan’s regional communities by providing public transportation that is not only convenient and accessible but also sustainable. The consortium plans to achieve this through collaborative efforts, efficient resource utilization, and the implementation of DX-driven, next-generation mobility solutions focusing on autonomous-driving technology.

2. Scope of the Agreement The scope of this ambitious agreement encompasses: (1) Digital transformations in regional public transportation. (2) Enhancing mobility through Mobility as a Service (MaaS). (3) Implementation of region-specific self-driving PoC. (4) Examination of operational and service challenges in managing self-driving buses. (5) Additional initiatives critical to fulfilling the objectives of the agreement.

This strategic collaboration, now bolstered by Isuzu’s participation, is poised to set a new standard in regional transportation, harmonizing technological advancements with the needs of local communities.


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