MONET Technologies Inc., a joint venture with SoftBank Corp., Toyota Motor Corporation and other Japan-based automotive manufacturers that is working to promote MaaS (mobility as a service) business development, held its first MONET Consortium General Meeting in Tokyo on June 28, 2019.
MONET to represent Japan for MaaS
With approximately 600 in attendance, MONET President and CEO Junichi Miyakawa kicked off the conference with his opening remarks. He told the audience that with 276 companies from various industries now participating (at the end of June 2019), the MONET Consortium is now effectively the “Japan Federation” when it comes to promoting MaaS adoption. Miyakawa also mentioned that on the day of the meeting, another five automotive manufacturers—Isuzu, Suzuki, Subaru, Daihatsu and Mazda—concluded capital and business partnership agreements with MONET.
In partnership with local governments, MONET will work to resolve Japan's social mobility issues, and by collaborating with companies, it will aim to create new value with mobility services, Miyakawa said. He pledged that MONET will take the lead position in Japan's MaaS market, which is estimated to be worth 26 trillion yen.
Miyakawa also said that through the process of conducting trials with local governments, various issues will come to the surface that cannot be solved by regulations and legislation alone. To address these challenges, Miyakawa said that MONET will actively make proposals.
Executives articulate policy to commercialize MaaS and MONET's platform concept
Next, MONET's Vice President & COO Yoshihide Shibao explained the policy and direction of the MONET Consortium. He said that in order to realize a connected society, first partners need to be able to network in a forum, and that the MONET Consortium plays a central role in facilitating this. Shibao also introduced a program to commercialize specific MaaS business ideas that are co-created by companies participating in the consortium.
Shibao also asked companies in the consortium to get actively involved in matching the solutions they have with the issues that the approximate 270 local governments face.
Ryuji Wakikawa, a MONET Director, explained the concept that the platform is the core of MONET's business, noting that at a time when it is possible to provide matching services in real time, MONET is constructing a MaaS social platform that coordinates data on people, vehicles and services. Wakikawa said that transportation information combined with various types of other data can be utilized for services, and also touched upon functions that MONET plans to provide to enterprises in the future.
The latter half of the meeting featured a keynote speech from Tak Miyata, Founder and General Partner of venture capital firm Scrum Ventures. His presentation theme was “Learning from Global MaaS Case Studies to Discover the Potential of MaaS Business Development.” After surveying recent MaaS-based business trends, Miyata introduced a number of unique case studies that focused on the unique characteristics of MaaS.
In closing, Ichiro Kawanabe, Chairman of Nihon Kotsu, Yuichiro Tokunaga, an Executive Officer of East Japan Railway Company, and Akihiro Miura, a Director of All Nippon Airways, participated in a panel discussion to speak about the future of mobility services and the expectations toward them. The speakers engaged in a lively discussion, offering viewpoints from their respective leadership positions in the taxi, rail and aviation industries, filling the venue with excitement.
The MONET Consortium General Meeting gave further clarity to MONET's corporate mission, which is to “enrich people's lives through mobility services.” Judging from the many reports that looked enthusiastically toward the future, exciting developments for the MONET Consortium are sure to lie ahead.
(Original article posted on 2019-07-29)
Text and photos by Writeup