Eco-business / Social Venture

February 14, 2004


Car-sharing to Start in New Osaka Suburb

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Manufacturing industry NGO / Citizen Non-manufacturing industry Policy / Systems Transportation / Mobility 

In a large-scale new suburb being developed in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture, a car-sharing system for the residents will be introduced when the development opens in the spring of 2004. It will be the first full-scale car-sharing service in the Kansai region.

The new suburban development, named "Saito," is being constructed in the richly forested hills of Ibaraki and Minoh cities in Osaka Prefecture. The development aims to realize the concept of harmonious coexistence between nature and human beings. This huge project includes research institutes and public facilities on its site of about 740 hectares, and is expected to serve a population of 50,000. Until public transportation facilities are completed, cars will be the major means of transportation. The introduction of a car-sharing system was chosen with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions through decreasing dependence on automobiles and minimizing parking lots in order to keep more area green.

Hankyu Saito Co., the developer of the new town, will operate the system, and Daihatsu Motor Co., which has experience in car-sharing through test operations in the Kanto region, will provide the ITS (intelligent transport system) and operating know-how. The operation will start off with three Daihatsu mini-cars.

Users will be asked to apply to the control center through the Internet or by telephone. User identification, payments and door locking/unlocking will be performed through registered user IC cards. The cars will be managed by a remote control system that will transmit information about the engine, oil levels, etc., to the system's control center.

Although experimental car-sharing programs supported by the national government have been under way for several years in Japan, full-fledged car-sharing services using electric cars have just started in Yokohama, Tokyo, and Kyushu. This attempt in Kansai will be the first car-sharing project in the nation that uses gasoline-powered cars.

Posted: 2004/02/14 09:41:45 PM
Japanese version