Toyota Motor Corporation and NTT Corporation announced that they entered into a memorandum of understanding concerning a business and capital alliance upon approving a resolution at meetings of their respective Board of Directors.
The purpose of the memorandum of understanding is to build a long-term and continuous cooperative relationship that enables the commercialisation of smart city businesses, with each company being a core partner to share the same values and promote social development, with the aim of realising smart cities, which continue to evolve in accordance with the needs of residents.
The two companies have already been collaborating in the connected car field. However, in response to changes in the business environment, the two companies believe that it is necessary not only to seek to further strengthen the business foundations that they have been cultivating to date, but also, by further building the cooperative relations between them, to engage in the creation of new value that enables sustainable growth.
In particular, the two companies have initiated activities related to smart cities, which can solve various issues by improving the efficiency and sophistication of functions and services in cities and regions through the utilisation of advanced technologies and create new value, including comfort and convenience, and which they view as being an important area of focus in the future.
On January 7, 2020, Toyota announced the outline of a project to build a prototype city connecting all kinds of goods and services that support people’s lives, at CES 2020 held in Las Vegas. The project will use the soon-to-be former site of the Higashi Fuji Plant of Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc. (in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture), which is scheduled to close at the end of 2020, to move verification initiatives forward in coordination with various partner companies and researchers toward the creation of a new city. Toyota named this city “Woven City” and is promoting efforts to make smart cities a reality.
The two companies will jointly build for smart cities the “Smart City Platform” that will offer value to all domains, from people, cars and houses, to everyday life, business, infrastructure and public services related to residents, businesses, local governments, etc. As a precedent model, it will first be implemented in the Higashi-Fuji area of Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture (Woven City) and in the Shinagawa area in Minato-ku, Tokyo (a part of the NTT block in front of Shinagawa Station), and will then be introduced to other cities in succession.
As a secure base for providing value to residents, businesses, local governments, etc., the Smart City Platform is to consist of smart-city data management and information distribution, a digital twin based on such data (urban development simulation) and peripheral functions. It is also to consist of a “platform of platforms” as a platform for individual smart cities and as a platform for linking with other smart city platforms.
In the future, Toyota and NTT will aim for further growth through the enhancement of the competitiveness of smart cities and the development of a sustainable society.