Toyota Tsusho opens Singapore unit for R&D on connected mobility service

24, Jan. 2020

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SINGAPORE, NNA – Major Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho Corp. has established a research and development unit in Singapore to expand connected mobility services globally.

The trader “intends to initiate development on our own rather than mere sales of data” in the field of “MaaS” (Mobility as a Service), an integrated mobility service linking various means of transportation in a seamless manner, a spokeswoman in Tokyo told NNA on Friday.

The firm said in a statement Thursday it set up Toyota Tsusho Mobility Informatics Pte. Ltd. with a capital of 920,000 Singapore dollars ($681,000) in November, eyeing potential demand for MaaS in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa besides Japan.

Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of Toyota Motor Corp. group, has picked Singapore as the city-state is taking a lead in the MaaS business and undertaking development of next generation mobility projects that attract engineers and experts in the field, it said in a statement.

The new entity aims to develop advanced technologies such as machine learning and mathematical optimization technology to offer mobility service providers, like logistics and ride-hailing firms, connected services such as information on traffic congestion and optimal delivery route planning, the statement said. It is staffed by five senior officials and engineers, the spokeswoman said in a phone interview.

The Singapore unit is owned 51 percent by the Nagoya-based trading house, 39 percent by Toyota Tsusho Nexty Electronics (Thailand) Co., the Thai unit of group’s core arm in electronic devices and software development, and the remaining 10 percent by Toyota Tsusho Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., the regional headquarters in Southeast Asia’s financial hub, she said.

Toyota Tsusho Nexty Electronics (Thailand) launched self-developed information services on traffic congestion in the Southeast Asian country in 2012, she added.