I was born in the countryside in a prefecture called Hyogo, which is located in the western part of Japan. I go back to my hometown for Obon (a Japanese summer holiday) and for new year’s. The people of my town love the land and nature which has been passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to live there due to rapid population aging. People have difficulty going to hospitals and grocery shopping. There are even people who give up and move to bigger towns in hope for a more convenient life.
Imagine what life would be like if they had transport that could take them anywhere. Imagine what would be like if they could have ingredients and meals delivered with a click of a button. This would help people live in their small towns, where they love so much. I want to make life in the countryside rich and full of energy, just like the way things were when I was a child. The reality is that once these small towns become vacant, they can never be revived again.
We have no time to waste.
I want to, and ZMP wants to make autonomous taxis and self-driving delivery robot services a reality.
Right now, ZMP is working at full steam to make these goals come true by 2020. Since November of 2015, when I met with Prime Minister Abe to publicly propose this idea for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, public opinion on autonomous driving has drastically changed. In June, 2017 the Japanese National Police Agency has officially announced a guideline for the permission to use public roads for testing remote control operation systems.
The future is becoming a reality.
The future is here.
If we follow the guideline and we can make self-driving taxi run on public roads.
Join us, and let’s venture out into doing something exciting and challenging. Something no one has ever done before. I’m sure that there is at least one person in your family or someone you know who has problems going daily grocery shopping, whether it be the city or countryside. Why don’t we give them a gift: A gift of freedom to go where they need and want to? Of course you can wait for such services to become part of society but wouldn’t it be great if you could take part in this movement? I think it would be a memory of a lifetime. I’m waiting for you, that adventurous,good-hearted, never-giving-up you.
I am waiting for you.