Nissan Motor has signed a preliminary agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation to jointly explore “new opportunities in next generation mobility and energy services relating to battery electric vehicles (EVs)”, to “contribute to solving regional societal issues and to creating vibrant future communities”.

The two companies also agreed to address issues such as Japan’s driver shortages due to the country’s declining population and the resulting difficulty in maintaining public transport services due to falling user numbers.

Nissan is testing new mobility services, including self-driving vehicles, in Namie Town in Fukushima prefecture and in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai District, to improve public transport.

The automaker also said it was developing energy management systems using electric vehicle battery storage capacity and charging/discharging functions in combination with renewable energy.

MC, in collaboration with the private sector and local government, has been addressing social and industrial challenges with initiatives focused on regional renewable energy sources to achieve carbon neutrality. The company has also been increasing efforts to help with transport challenges through the implementation of AI on-demand services for local governments and private companies, including in Shiojiri City in Nagano Prefecture, and conducting autonomous driving demonstrations using digital technology.

Regional society issues are expected to become more challenging in Japan. Some of these include an increase in people facing transport barriers, a decrease in essential services, weakened community ties and the need for disaster preparedness.

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