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Toyota moves mountains to improve mobility

 - 14/04/2016

Toyota is examining how to ensure older people -- even in the most remote regions -- can remain mobile and healthy with a new three-year project in Japan's Aichi Prefecture.

The Asuke Mobility Project is a 360-million-yen ($3.2 million) undertaking in partnership with Nagoya University that will do more than simply provide the city's elderly population with access to electric vehicles or ride-sharing schemes.

The idea is to build a mobile society that ensures older residents can retain their role in the community be it through regular activity, access to regular health check-ups or through organized excursions and to understand the role transportation will play.

All strands of the project will be linked together via a tablet-based reservation system so that a person can book an electric car to go to the doctor, for example, or share a ride with other community members heading on the same excursion.

Japan's population is one of the world's healthiest and as a result longest living. But as its population ages the issues surrounding mobility and maintaining independence grows.

In the more mountainous regions where individual mobility -- i.e., access to a car -- is of even greater necessity, these problems are amplified. As the younger generation move away for work the older generations left behind can find it difficult to get about with no direct family to help them.

The new Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) project, announced on Tuesday, is the fourth of its kind and, with the ongoing assistance of Nagoya University's Institute of Innovation for Future Society, one the company hopes will continue to develop and grow once the initial three-year funding comes to an end.

Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda said, "We hope TMF's support of these local efforts will revitalize the community by helping the residents in semi-mountainous areas all over Japan, including Asuke, to experience the freedom of mobility."


Photo : ©Toyota