Panasonic-Eto Motors partner to introduce last-mile IT infra in Delhi
The two companies along with Japan's NEDO and the Delhi Transport Corporation have commenced an IT system demonstration pilot project to realise efficient last-mile e-mobility in the national capital.
Japanese technology solutions major Panasonic has partnered last-mile e-mobility startup Eto Motors to introduce a last-mile-mobility IT infrastructure in New Delhi. On October 17, the duo commissioned a pilot project, in association with Japan's NEDO, and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), to demonstrate the IT system's potential to offer an efficient last-mile-mobility transportation system.
The pilot project, which will be undertaken along a select Delhi Metro route, spanning its four stations - Nehru Place, Nehru Enclave, Kalkaji Mandir, and Okhla NSIC - in the South East district of the national capital, will see Eto Motors deploy its 40 L5 e- passenger carriers on the said stretch to conduct a demonstration for the next 18 months.
The project will allow passengers of the Delhi Metro to be able to view the availability of an Eto Motors e-rickshaw using the Panasonic-developed 'Sojo' mobile application, and seamlessly book a ride for last-mile commute. The ride-sharing service will also enable cashless payments, and offer a quick two-tap booking process.
The data findings of the pilot project will be tapped by Panasonic and Eto Motors, and a final report will be submitted to the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), which is a government organisation under Japan's MEITI, and has invested into Panasonic-Eto Motors' initiative to deploy this e-mobility pilot.
"We are supporting the pilot from the standpoint of funding, as well as we have a strong international government-to-government network and enable approvals for such projects. While NEDO will not do any business from this pilot, we support private companies after assessing their proposal," Yumitori Shuji, Executive Director, NEDO, told Autocar Professional.
NEDO, which is also supporting such projects in Indonesia, California, and Phillipines, says with India's focus on EVs, hydrogen, and bio-mass, the two countries share common values. "While making a government-to-government MoU takes time, this particular project was wholeheartedly supported by the DTC," Shuji added.
Panasonic India, which has developed the core of the Sojo mobile application says it is trying to offer first- and last-mile connectivity. There are three aspects to it - driver, passenger, and fleet operator application - and driving these components of the application in the back end is the cloud," Manish Mishra, Chief Innovation Officer, Panasonic India, told Autocar Professional.
"We assess the demand-supply situation from the driver's perspective, easy bookings for the passengers, and fleet monitoring from the operator's perspective. We have put significant effort in designing this platform over the last 10 months, and are launching it now as a demonstration pilot for people to adopt," Mishra added.
Once the technology demonstration gets completed, Panasonic intends to evaluate the value creation of the platform, and scale it - both horizontally and vertically. "In terms of horizontal scale up, we would want to cover more Metro station routes, as well as partner other last-mile e-mobility players, and in terms of vertical expansion, we would like to bring all ecosystem partners, including battery- and energy-management players, charging infrastructure players into a common network," Mishra explained.
Panasonic India also envisions future expansion of the project to other cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kolkata among others.
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