In our drive to promote the efficient use of resources and to maximize customer value, we are working to create businesses based on a circular economy model. Our first business model is our "sharing service." The service consists of bicycle parking areas; three were created inside Tsunashima SST*1 and at Hiyoshi Station. On top of this, 30 IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycles with power-saving smart lock have been made available to residents of the town, employees at commercial facilities, and the neighborhood in a trial project to study how to operate and manage an IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycle service. During this trial period, we are gathering and analyzing data, including users' needs for bicycles, areas of movement, and travel distances, to create an optimum management system for this bicycle service. We also provided IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycles in the shared bicycle station in TENKUU no MORIZONO MIYOSHI MIRAITO, a large, newly developed residential area in Miyoshi City, Aichi Prefecture, marketed by Toyota Housing Corporation of the Prime Life Technologies Group.*2 This was our first time to supply IoTlinked electrically-assisted bicycles and we plan to expand sales in the future.
Moreover, in January 2022, we started a two-year trial of an IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycle sharing service for residents of apartments in Japan*3. Demand for electrically-assisted bicycles has recently increased due to their convenience and comfort for short-distance trips. However, owning an electrically-assisted bicycle is sometimes difficult for those living in an apartment with a small parking space or because use of the bicycle is infrequent. For this reason, we decided to conduct a field trial of a closed bicycle sharing service where the IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycles are shared among residents of the same apartments, to assess the feasibility of the service and identify potential issues in service operations. In this trial, six households in "noiful base Komagome"*4, a rental property managed by our group company, share three IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycles stationed in the apartment. Residents can reserve and unlock the bicycles using a dedicated application. The property manager monitors the usage of the IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycles through a customized management software. When a bicycle's battery becomes low, the manager replaces it with a fully charged one stored in the charging locker. We are seeking to add value to properties that are further away from the nearest train station and also utilize the batteries in the charging locker for emergencies, such as a power blackout. Based on the results from this trial, we aim to develop a new and highly convenient transportation service.