Aug. 27, 2019
Sumitomo Corporation

Pilot Experiment for On-demand Van Service~Practical Application of MaaS for More than 3,500 Employees~

Starting late August 2019, Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo, hereinafter, “the Company”) will launch a pilot experiment for an on-demand van service (note) for all of its employees working at its Head Office.   

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, traffic congestion in Japan is causing economic losses equivalent to a work force of 2.8 million workers, which constitutes four percent of the working-age population, or 12 trillion yen in terms of monetary value, equivalent to two percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Emissions of carbon dioxide during congestion (i.e., when traffic speed is 20 kilometers per hour) is said to be approximately 50 percent higher compared to when traffic is flowing smoothly (i.e., when traffic speed is 40 kilometers per hour on average).

Under the pilot experiment, all 3,500 employees based at the Head Office of Sumitomo Corporation will use the on-demand van service instead of their usual means of transportation when visiting their business partners, Group companies, or government offices, or when going to train/subway stations or other destinations on business. Through the trial, the Company will verify the convenience and efficiency of the service for users, the level of safety and feasibility as a service, and the service’s consistency with efforts to solve existing social problems. The service allows employee passengers to flexibly select the time and location they wish to reserve a van on their smartphone without having to apply for travel expense reimbursement later on as they would normally. At the same time, by unifying its employees’ means of mobility and having multiple passengers on a van, the Company can expect to slash man-hours required for cost management and reduce travel expenses.

The Sumitomo Corporation Group and some start-up companies in which the Company invests will work as a single team to perform the pilot experiment. The fleet of vans to be used for the service will be procured from Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Company, Limited; the required parking spaces will be provided by akippa Inc.; and service management and operation will be undertaken based on the connected technologies offered by SmartDrive Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Corporation hopes to harness the outcome of the pilot experiment engaging its own employees to eventually deliver this service to other corporations. For example, via a questionnaire survey conducted after the trial, the Company will request service users to evaluate the reasonableness of the service charge for the ride service. Efforts will be made to make the mobility service more comfortable by incorporating users’ feedback, with in-vehicle wi-fi, a drink service and more to be introduced.

Sumitomo Corporation aims to mitigate the economic losses and environmental problems that are rooted in traffic congestion that delivers the efficiency of the on-demand and the convenience of on-demand use. Moreover, by developing and providing a range of mobility services such as this on-demand van service, the Company aspires to solve social issues and achieve sustainable growth.

(note) an on-demand van service :
A bus service that operates in response to user requests



■ Images of the mobility service in operation

■ Corporate Profile of Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Company, Limited

Head office location

Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo



Representative Director, President & CEO

Akira Tsuyuguchi

Managed fleet size owned by the Group

Approximately 983,000 (as of March 2019)

Business description

Leasing of automobiles



■ Corporate Profile of akippa Inc.

Head office location

Nishihonmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Prefecture



Representative Director and President

Genki Kanaya

Business description

Parking space sharing service



■ Corporate Profile of SmartDrive Co., Ltd.

Head office location

Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo




Retsu Kitagawa

Business description

Development and provision of hardware, applications, telematics services, etc., and data collection & analysis




Material Issues of Sumitomo Corporation

We have defined the Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This business particularly contributes to “Achieving Harmony with the Global Environment,” “Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries,” “Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles” and “Providing Diverse Accessibility.”

Corporate Communications Department, Sumitomo Corporation
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