Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.

Mobility

The goal is for everyone to have unhindered access to safe and clean transportation.

Sub-themes

At the Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future, we believe that the following 3 changes will have a significant impact in resolving societal problems in the area of energy and environment.

  • Traffic congestion continues to be a severe problem.

    In Japan's urban areas and intercity highways, congested roads are still a major problem. Rush-hour congestion in urban areas and weekend and holiday congestion on highways are widespread, costing a great deal of time and money. Traffic congestion also negatively impacts the environment, such as through increased carbon dioxide emissions.

  • More people are mobility-impaired and lack convenient access to shopping.

    "Food deserts" are places where small and medium-sized grocery stores have closed, leaving elderly and disabled residents with no stores within walking distance. When public transportation routes in rural areas are eliminated, disabled persons and elderly persons who cannot drive may be left with no means of transportation, and this limits their capability for everyday outings (shopping for food and daily necessities, obtaining medical care, etc.), and reduces their quality of life (QOL).

  • Inefficiencies have emerged in domestic logistics.

    Frequent deliveries and increasing redeliveries have contributed to the problem of declining logistics efficiency in urban areas. Problems in rural areas include empty-load backhauls on intercity routes and loading rates of only about 40%.

Innovation to relieve congestion

Social problem

  • Traffic congestion continues to be a severe problem.

    In Japan's urban areas and intercity highways, congested roads are still a major problem. Rush-hour congestion in urban areas and weekend and holiday congestion on highways are widespread, costing a great deal of time and money. Traffic congestion also negatively impacts the environment, such as through increased carbon dioxide emissions.

Issues to be tackled

  • Using IT for traffic flow optimization

Examples of innovation

  • Overall volume reduction:
    Ride-sharing, modal shift (e.g. designing incentives to encourage automobile users to switch to trains for congestion relief), and controlling inflow and outflow
  • Improving efficiency (route optimization):
    More advanced navigation (e.g. overall navigation optimization), road pricing for route dispersal, and systems for charging and collecting fees and optimizing supply based on visualization of demand for taxi utilization, etc.
  • Facilitating traffic flow at specific locations such as sags (valley-shaped segments where drivers start uphill after moving downhill) and interchanges:
    Automated driving and its component technologies (e.g. adaptive cruise control and inter-vehicle distance optimization)

Innovation to support mobility-impaired persons

Social problem

  • More people are mobility-impaired and lack convenient access to shopping.

    "Food deserts" are places where small and medium-sized grocery stores have closed, leaving elderly and disabled residents with no stores within walking distance. When public transportation routes in rural areas are eliminated, disabled persons and elderly persons who cannot drive may be left with no means of transportation, and this limits their capability for everyday outings (shopping for food and daily necessities, obtaining medical care, etc.), and reduces their quality of life (QOL).

Issues to be tackled

  • Developing safe and affordable traffic systems for everyone

Examples of innovation

  • Convenient and affordable means of local transportation for elderly and disabled residents within their own neighborhoods (several kilometers):
    Ride-sharing services, automated driving, insurance services for automated driving, etc.
  • Ways to meet the needs of residents without having them leave their homes:
    Drone delivery, mobile sales services, and VR to replicate the atmosphere of shopping

Innovation to improve logistics efficiency

Social problem

  • Inefficiencies have emerged in domestic logistics.

    Frequent deliveries and increasing redeliveries have contributed to the problem of declining logistics efficiency in urban areas. Problems in rural areas include empty-load backhauls on intercity routes and loading rates of only about 40%.

Issues to be tackled

  • Developing mechanisms to improve the efficiency of logistics

Examples of innovation

  • Improving efficiency in logistics systems:
    Expanded use of existing transportation systems (mixed use for passengers and cargo), shared logistics services among small and medium enterprises, systems to avoid redeliveries, and visitor authentication systems (to prevent crime by impersonation)
  • Better efficiency in logistics systems:
    Improved efficiency through unmanned delivery systems, electronic systems for charging and collecting fees, etc.

Application Details

  • Benefits for Competition participants

    About mentoring by MRI scientists with expert knowledge in the various fields, cash award and supplementary awards.
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  • Screening process

    About the competition procedure and criteria for participation.
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  • Schedule

    About the schedule from the period between the application deadline and the final screening.
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Other-themes

The following themes will also be considered for this contest:

  • DISASTER PREVENTION

    The goal is to protect all lives from natural disasters.

    (In addition to ideas whose applications are solely for disaster prevention, we accept submissions of ideas on how everyday products and services can also be used for disaster response.)

  • EDUCATION /
    HUMAN RESOURCES

    The goal is for everyone to be adequately equipped to make a positive contribution to society.