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Smartvalue, Suzuki and Marubeni enter into Carsharing contract

Smartvalue Co., Ltd., Suzuki Motor Corporation and Marubeni Corporation have entered into a joint contract to conduct a Proof of Concept (PoC) for a carsharing service, utilising shared parking lots as well as parking lots of Suzuki’s car dealerships and focusing on users in suburban areas.

Through the PoC, all three companies will look to provide a carsharing service for use in everyday life that will be available near homes in suburban areas and feature the easy-to-ride compact car made by Suzuki. Meanwhile, Suzuki will strive to enhance the services provided to the customer within the carsharing service.

The automotive industry is currently experiencing once-in-a-century disruptive innovation which consists of the reformation of products, value chains and business models in each new technology field of “CASE” (Connectivity, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric).

Carsharing, which is represented in CASE by the letter “S” and allows users to have access to a car whenever they need to without actually owning one themselves, is experiencing particularly rapid growth as an important factor in the composition of MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service).

During the PoC programme, the carsharing servic will be implemented using ‘Kuruma Base’, a Mobility-as-a-Service platform developed by Smartvalue. The vehicles to be used for carsharing services will be arranged at parking spaces of Suzuki car dealerships and in surrounding suburban areas.

Though the PoC, Smartvalue will promote its own platform service ‘Kuruma Base’ and investigate market needs for carsharing. Suzuki will acquire knowledge of carsharing and explore potential Suzuki car users for its future business development. Marubeni will seek new business opportunities in the reformed automotive industry with the sharing economy as one of its primary focus areas in “CASE”.

Commencement of the PoC is scheduled for Autumn, 2019. The programme will run for approximately 1 year and will be implemented in Toyonaka, Osaka.

‘Kuruma Base’ is a service provision system platform based on a monthly subscription fee developed by Smartvalue for companies engaged in Mobility-as-a-Service business, such as carsharing. The service consists of an onboard device, operating console on the cloud, smartphone application and operating outsourcing support. ‘Kuruma Base’ has adopted a virtual key system as one of the most important factors for its Mobility-as-a-Service. This system makes it possible to virtually authorise a limited number of persons access to a car for a limited period of time.

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