Isuzu Motors has entered into a collaboration agreement to promote the digital transformation (DX) of regional transportation in Japan.

Together with four other companies, Isuzu will focus on developing autonomous driving services in Hiratsuka, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The agreement was originally signed on April 7, 2023 by Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Chuo Kotsu Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Corporation, Aisan Technology Co., Ltd., and A-Drive Inc.

For Isuzu its participation in the agreement represents its commitment to digital transformation, which it believes will address issues faced by society and within the logistics industry. The agreement aligns further with Isuzu’s plans to develop and commercialize its own autonomous driving solutions.

The latest activity around the agreement was the reveal of an autonomous proof of concept bus by its six signatories. Intended for operations in Hiratsuka, the bus will leverage the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism’s program for supporting projects that improve regional public transportation. The project’s partners confirmed that in, the next stage of the agreement, they will begin to demonstrate the commercial potential of their autonomous driving solution.

The core objective of the six-party agreement is to help revitalize Japan’s regional communities by offering public transportation services that are convenient, accessible and sustainable. In achieving this goal, the parties will engage in a series of collaborative initiatives that will effectively leverage their respective resources and DX-centered, next-generation, mobility solutions focused on autonomous technology applications.

The scope of the agreement more broadly encompasses further initiatives that will be conducted under the agreement  – including DX in regional public transportation; more convenient mobility options enabled through Mobility as a Service (MaaS); a regionally-based autonomous proof of concept; the verification of problems in the operation and servicing of autonomous buses; and any other initiatives necessary to achieving the agreement’s core objective.