Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations and Toyota Motor Corporation collaborate on Japanese taxi of the future
The Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) are announcing that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to study on areas for collaboration, so as to develop and introduce the Japanese taxi of the future. Last month the relationship between the two worsened after Toyota announced it would be working with Uber. This exercise looks very much like public fence-mending.
Toyota’s relationship with the Japanese taxi industry began in 1936, when the Toyota Model AA had been first used as a taxi. From then on, both parties have established a longstanding and important partnership tradition, which has since been carried on by the current Crown Comfort. As a result of the continued patronizing of Toyota’s vehicles for use as taxis―where an annual 100,000km have been covered in some areas, Toyota has been able to continue to enhance the reliability and durability of its vehicles, so as to provide customers with a safe and pleasant ride. The Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations and Toyota have been important partners in helping to build up Japanese taxis into the world’s safest, most pleasant, world-class public transportation service, and will continue their efforts to strengthen the Japanese transportation infrastructure.
In the hopes of enhancing the urban scenery in Japan, Toyota is developing a next-generation taxi, where the design reflects the spirit of Japanese hospitality. This next-generation taxi is scheduled to become available in 2017. The Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations and Toyota are joining hands in this pursuit, to enhance the convenience for a broad range of customers including the elderly, families with children, and foreign tourists. At the same time, they are aiming to build an inclusive community that welcomes all, and simultaneously, to contribute to the promotion of Japan as a tourist haven.
The two parties will establish a task force that will meet regularly to discuss how to concretely realize the items listed below.
Overview of the memorandum of understanding (MOU)
- Popularize taxis that feature universal design (UD) principles and can easily be used by all.
- Draw up vehicle specifications that will enhance the hospitality, safety, and convenience that will help make customers happy, and assess the following points necessary to build other peripheral systems.
- Enhancement of advanced safety systems
- Enhanced user convenience
- Co-operating on providing services in multiple languages
- In the Tokyo area, both parties will look at ways to collaborate on the two points mentioned below, in terms of developing and leveraging future automated driving technologies, which will cater to increasingly diversified groups of drivers which includes the elderly and foreigners among others. This has the overall effect of supporting taxi drivers to ease their workload.
- Use taxis to collect and analyze of information on the road traffic environment, and apply those results to the development of the Mobility Teammate Concept, which embodies Toyota’s vision of automated driving.
- Collaborate on experimental business approaches that make use of the automated driving technology which is derived from using the Mobility Teammate Concept.
- The Toyota Crown is the Japanese industry’s traditional workhorse.