As you all know very well, the spread of COVID-19 this year has changed the way we live our lives, creating more diverse needs for mobility that include transportation that enables proper distancing between passengers, and a future of transportation of goods and services rather than people moving about. The shrinking and aging of society will also produce a range of mobility issues, so we believe communities will increasingly need new mobility services, such as the e-Palette and other Autono-MaaS options, to address these issues. The MSPF represents the framework and technology that support the provision of the e-Palette services.
When it comes to mobility services, we assume that customers expect to “go to where it is needed, when needed, and on time” and “provide the services and goods that are needed, when needed, and on time”. In other words, just-in-time mobility service is required. In order to realize, we think it is very important to incorporate the Toyota Production System (TPS) ideology.
To achieve this goal, as a new function of MSPF, we utilized TPS to develop an operations management system which consist of the “AMMS” and the “e-TAP.” Now, let me explain how we provide e-Palette service by showing the actual operation.
e-Palette introduction movie
How was the video? Now, I would like to explain the AMMS and the e-TAP.
The goal of AMMS is to achieve the ultimate TPS-based just-in-time mobility service. It is the system to dispatch e-Palette vehicles when needed, where needed, and in the amount needed. e-Palette operates based of the upfront schedule, but in case of the change, for example when people waiting at the platform increase, AMMS modifies the schedule flexibly and automatically dispatches vehicles into a service on real-time. This is the basic function of AMMS. Also, when additional vehicles are introduced into a service, the intervals between vehicles are adjusted to ensure even spacing of services. Vehicle abnormalities are also automatically detected and, if that happens, the vehicles are automatically returned to the depot and replacement vehicles are immediately dispatched on the route to ensure stability of operation. In an emergency, the vehicles can be stopped and returned to service remotely, with an extra level of safety management, to provide passengers with peace of mind.
Now I would like to explain about e-TAP. In line with the “Jidoka (automation with a human touch)” approach of TPS, e-TAP was introduced as a visual management function to support staff involved in the operation. Visualization of abnormalities in vehicles and workers enables a single person at the operation control center to manage several vehicles at once. In this way, safe and secure operation with fewer workers becomes possible. Work instructions are automatically provided to workers required for operation, including on-board operators and maintenance personnel. Also, it visually shows the working progress and allows task control when required. Task management including delay and front-loading enables shorter lead-times for maintenance and the provision of high-quality services even with limited workers.That’s all for my explanation of AMMS and e-TAP. It was originally developed for the vehicle operations management at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
What we introduced today is just a taste, but we think this mechanism can be applied to the ordinary transportations as well. We believe it will contribute to the sustainable mobility society and eventually to the SDGs.