Toyota & SoftBank form new self-driving car manufacturing joint venture

Toyota and SoftBank have formed a new joint venture to facilitate the creation a new AI & autonomous car company dubbed MONET Technologies Corporation (“MONET”), before the end of the 2018 fiscal year (April 2019).

MONET is aimed at helping the two realize a safer and more comfortable mobility society. “MONET”  or “mobility network,” embodies the desire of both companies to build a mobility network that provides safer and more comfortable mobility to everyone.

MONET will provide coordination between Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (“MSPF”), Toyota’s information infrastructure for connected vehicles, and SoftBank’s Internet of Things (IoT) Platform, which was built to create new value from the collection and analysis of data acquired from smartphones and sensor devices. By utilizing a wide range of different forms of data related to automotive and human mobility on both platforms, MONET is aiming to optimize supply and demand in transportation and, ultimately, to launch Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) businesses capable of resolving social mobility issues and creating new value.

For the first phase, MONET plans to roll out just-in-time vehicle dispatch services for local public agencies and private companies throughout Japan. These services, which will include on-demand transportation through regional partnerships and corporate shuttles, will be provided in tune with user demand.

By the second half of the 2020s, MONET plans to roll out Autono-MaaS (autonomous mobility as a service) businesses using e-Palette, Toyota’s dedicated battery electric vehicle for mobility services that can be used for various purposes, including mobility, logistics, and sales. Possibilities include demand-focused just-in-time mobility services, such as meal deliveries vehicle where food is prepared while on the move, hospital shuttles where onboard medical examinations can be performed, mobile offices, and many more. MONET also intends to roll out these businesses in Japan with an eye to future expansion on the global market.

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