Recently the vehicle service providers Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co established a new joint venture to provide commercial on-demand-bus (ODB) transit service. This joint venture resulted in the struggle to provide efficient and sustainable public passenger road transportation (PPRT) in Japan. Artificial intelligence controlled bus services has been started in April 2019 in the Island City of Japan, which is located in Fukuoka City’s Higashi-ward.
The concept of AI-controlled ODB is a new concept in public transport. The routes will be generated automatically in real-time by using the requests submitted by mobile phone apps. The route will be designed by using operational data of a rider’s destination and traffic conditions. This system was designed by a Canadian Company, Spare Labs Inc.,
It has been reported that Island City is going through residential, commercial and port facilities developments leading to heavier traffic in addition to parking shortages, worst traffic congestions due to lack of public transportation. To address these concerns, Next Mobility JV will provide the AI-controlled ODB services on a trial basis for one year to verify the services’ effectiveness and commercial feasibility. The project will be sponsored by Nissan Motors by providing its ten-passenger Nissan Caravans for the trial.