Toyota Motor and SoftBank announced Thursday (October 4) they have formed a strategic partnership to enable the creation of new mobility services.
In a press release, the companies said they plan to create a joint venture company to be called MONET Technologies Corp. before the end of the fiscal 2018 year. Toyota and Softbank said the objective of the new company is to create a "safer and more comfortable mobility society by combining SoftBank's corporate philosophy, 'Information Revolution — Happiness for everyone,' with Toyota's vision of 'Mobility for All.'"
Toyota and SoftBank said the new company will provide coordination between Toyota's Mobility Services Platform, 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. For the first phase of the new company, it plans to launch just-in-time vehicle dispatch services for public agencies and private companies throughout Japan. The services will include on-demand transportation via regional partnerships and corporate shuttles.
By the second half of 2020, MONET is aiming to launch Autono-MaaS*1 (autonomous mobility as a service) businesses using e-Palette, Toyota's battery electric vehicle for mobility services. It can be used for various purposes, including mobility, logistics and sales, the companies said. The services could include 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 and mobile offices, among other things. While MONET will launch the businesses in Japan, it will be looking to expand them around the globe, according to the companies' press release.