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Japan government, companies pushing ITS in emerging markets
10 June 2012
The Nikkei reports that the Japanese government, major automakers and highway infrastructure companies are now working together to package technologies and services for sale in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia to address the growing problem of traffic congestion.
“Traffic congestion has become a serious issue in big cities in emerging markets,” said Yasuhiro Okumura, a Transport Ministry official. “We can sell our advanced highway technologies, including intelligent transport systems.”
Japan’s technological solutions for easing traffic congestion are attractive to buyers in emerging markets, but Japanese firms are struggling to ramp up sales by reducing costs, Okumura said. However, he said that a low-cost telematics navigation system that Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. plan to commercially launch in Bangkok in July could pave the way to future success for Japanese infrastructure firms.
Background. A number of Japanese ministries and the Japan Highway Public Corp.--which no longer exists—took the lead in the 1970s to develop traffic-related technologies with private companies. In 1996, Japan launched the Vehicle Information and Communication System, which shares information on traffic patterns. The technologies that Toyota group companies developed for this system have been applied them to the new project in Bangkok.
Last September, five expressway operators, including East Nippon Expressway Co. and Metropolitan Expressway Corp., established Japan Expressway International Co. (JEXWAY), in a bid to jump into foreign markets by pooling capital and technological expertise.
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