The Mid-to-Long-term Vision for Technological Innovation

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The Mid-to-Long-term Vision for Technological Innovation

The Mid-to-Long-term Vision for Technological Innovation—Setting our Sights on the "Mobility Revolution" including IoT, Big Data, AI, etc.

1. Plan Background

In the midst of a massive population decline, incredible advances in IoT, big data and AI have revolutionized every industry from service to manufacturing, leading many to refer to this new era as the 4th industrial revolution. In order to bring mobility into this new age, we must also harness our massive amount of railroad data and connect it to other forms of transportation and weather information—incorporating the latest innovations to create new value. In anticipation of such technological advances, we have set our sights about 20 years into the future to be on the cutting edge of realizing these technological marvels. We call this plan our Mid-to-Long-term Vision for Technological Innovation.

In order for the JR East Group to continue the incredible relationship we have fostered with our passengers over the past 30 years, it is vital we pursue evolved mobility centered around our railway services. To that end, as we consider the over 140-year history of the railways, let us thoroughly review the services we have offered through the passenger's point of view in order to rise above the conventional and lead the "mobility revolution".

2. Overview of the Mid-to-Long-term Vision for Technological Innovation

(1) Safety and Security: Foreseeing Danger to Minimize Risk

The JR East Group is at a crossroads, both inside and outside the company, as we tackle a myriad of issues such as changes to the railway system, increases in horizontal specialization and the rapid change of the age of our employees. In order to best handle any problems presented within these changes, we are reviewing and overhauling facilities, education and training integral to safety as we continue research and development required for those undertakings, all in order to ensure safe and secure transportation that is a step above.

Furthermore, in order to meet global safety expectations moving forward, we are taking full advantage of IoT, big data, AI and other technologies to predict possible danger, uncover risk that cannot be overcome through experience and knowledge alone, and take the steps required to solve issues before they arise.

Moving forward we will continue this research and development and combine it with information technology solutions, robotics, the human factor and other breakthrough technologies to create the very highest levels of safety.

Utilizing sensors and other technology to reduce risk of disaster, Utilizing robots and ITS to improve crossing and platform safety

(2) Service and Marketing: Offering our Customers Value that is for "Right Now, Right Here and Just for Me"

More information will be integrated in real time than ever before, from traffic flow and vehicle and equipment data to news on other modes of transit such as buses and taxis, information related to incredible developments in car technology such as automatic driving technology and car sharing and even weather reports and other data. With this data integration in mind, we are preparing support customized to each customer that will shorten total trip time and provide for a variety of needs in advance, offering value personalized for "right now, right here and just for me".

To start, we are preparing a system providing real-time information that integrates our transportation with other modes of transit in order to provide every customer with a stress-free commute. In the future, this will lead to a mobility service that facilitates smooth door-to-door transportation with advanced integration connecting our trains and other modes of transit to best suit the customer's situation.

We are also shifting our personnel to provide high-quality service with a personal touch in order to upgrade our hospitality across the board.

Door to Door Transportation and the "Right Now, Right Here and Just for Me Information Service"

(3) Operation and Maintenance: Reviewing Operations in Preparation for a 20% Reduction in the Working-age Population

It is now possible to efficiently conduct maintenance and other repair procedures in a timely fashion while frequently collecting and analyzing rolling stock and equipment data in order to check its safety. Currently, we are progressing steadily towards implementing these procedures by introducing new trains, such as the Yamanote line's new E235 series model, and furthering progress on automated driving, robotization, AI and other operation support technologies.

Moving forward, we will prepare for the decline in the working-age population, using these technological innovations to reform cost structures and implement the best mix of people and systems.

Robotization of Operations

(4) Energy and Environment: Establishing Railway Energy Management

The JR East Group maintains an integrated energy generation network, from generation and transmission through utilization. Moving forward, we intend to implement a train energy management system utilizing renewable energy, energy conservation and energy storage technologies to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 25% and 40% respectively (compared to FY2013) by FY2030.

Next-generation Energy Network

3. Plans and Endeavors for Implementing Our Mid-to-Long-term Vision for Technological Innovation

Taking our Mid-to-Long-term vision for technological innovation and making it a reality involves creating and strengthening connections both inside and outside the company to create an "innovation ecosystem" anchored in our group's efforts. These efforts also foster connections between entities outside our company, creating a network that nurtures self-sustaining action that continues to produce new value.

(1) Data Coordination through a Cloud Platform System

We will begin construction of a cloud platform to enable cross-sectional use of information both inside and outside the company. This will combine big data collected through IoT utilizing AI and other technologies to provide new information and services with unprecedented value.

(2) Creating Spaces that Transform Mobility through Open Innovation

We will lead the way in efforts to form connections with other transportation companies and manufacturers both in Japan and abroad by establishing the Mobility Innovation Consortium (name subject to change), a platform to make practical use of our data and revolutionize mobility.

We will also hold events in order to nurture ideas and program development (called Idea-thons and Hack-a-thons) while also providing test facilities outside the company utilizing volunteers to explore solutions for a variety of themes both inside and outside the company. This will create new cooperative bonds, bring in knowledge from outside our company walls and create new value for all our customers through a fresh host of services both inside JR and beyond.

Cloud Platform System
Visual Framework and Direction for Realizing the Mid-to-Long-term Vision for Technological Innovation (Open PDF in New Window)