EXx Inc. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Yamato Aoki; hereinafter “EXx”), mobby ride Inc. (Head office: Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka; CEO: Ryo Hyuga; hereinafter “mobby ride”), and Luup, Inc. (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Daiki Okai; hereinafter “Luup”) announced that on Friday October 16, 2020, their plan to conduct a demonstration experiment of e-scooters on public roads (roadways and bicycle lanes in specific areas only) using the “New Business Exception System” under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act was approved.
In the midst of an super-aging society with a very low birthrate, and with the increase in the number of so-called shopping refugees and automobile accidents involving the elderly due to inadequate one-mile transportation, efforts to connect this one-mile distance are essential, and the social implementation of this micromobility is the key to maintaining and developing the vitality of the city.
Furthermore, in response to the recent spread of the new coronavirus, countries have been developing lanes dedicated to micromobility, and micromobility is attracting attention as a means of avoiding the “Three Cs (crowded places, close-contact settings, and closed spaces).” Also in Japan, there is a need for new transportation that can complement public transportation, and we believe that its social implementation is an urgent task.
Among the micromobility technologies, e-scooters are the only electric, small, single-seat mobility vehicles currently in widespread use around the world. The Micromobility Promotion Council was established in May 2019, led by micromobility sharing providers, to promote efforts for social implementation of new micromobility technologies. The demonstration has been approved as a result of overlapping dialogue with community development officials and regulatory agencies. With this approval, we would like to proceed with this demonstration as a step toward the widespread adoption of not only e-scooters but also electric micromobility in general.
Details of Special Measures
E-scooters are classified as motorized bicycles under the law, but in this demonstration experiment, they will be able to ride in a regular bicycle lane in a specific area (a general “bicycle lane”). However, the demonstration experiment will allow the use of ordinary bicycle lanes in specific areas.
Overview of the Demonstration Experiment
– Start: Mid-October 2020 or later
– End: End of March, 2021
Areas of implementation
– EXx: All areas of Setagaya-ku and Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa; and some areas of Kashiwa-shi, Chiba
– mobby ride: Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka; Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima; Imabari-shi, Ehime; Kobe-shi, Hyogo (all in some areas)
– Luup: All areas of Chiyoda-ku, Shinjuku-ku, Setagaya-ku, and Shibuya-ku in Tokyo
In July 2020, the following statement on e-scooters was mentioned in the “Growth Strategy Follow-up” approved by the Cabinet:
“A new project will be conducted to verify riding locations and vehicle safety standards. In addition, based on the results of the new project, the state of traffic rules, including requirements for drivers, safety assurance measures, and vehicle classifications, will be examined, including whether or not a system review is necessary. In particular, a conclusion will be reached by the first half of 2021 on special measures for driver requirements, etc., based on the National Strategic Special Zones Law (partial excerpt).”