Komatsu City (Mayor: Shoei Miyahashi), SEINO HOLDINGS CO., LTD. (headquartered in Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture; Yoshitaka Taguchi, President & CEO; hereinafter referred to as “Seino HD”), Aeronext, Inc. (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Keisuke Toji, CEO; hereinafter “Aeronext”), and KDDI SmartDrone Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masafumi Hirono, President & CEO; hereinafter “KDDI SmartDrone”), signed a collaboration agreement on December 13, 2022 to establish new smart logistics*1 to help solve regional issues and contribute to regional development through the use of next-generation advanced technologies, including drones.
The purpose of this agreement is to establish a new business model for logistics through the use of next-generation advanced technology, including a drone delivery demonstration, in order to first solve regional issues in mountainous regions through mutual coordination and cooperation.
＜Outline of Cooperative Agreement＞
- Agreement Date
December 13, 2022
- Agreement Areas
Through the use of next-generation advanced technology, including drones, the parties will collaborate and coordinate in the following areas.
（１）promotion of tourism, industry and economy in Komatsu City
（２）resolving issues faced by Komatsu City’s regional transportation and logistics
（３）enhancing disaster prevention and contributing to the decarbonization of Komatsu City
（４）matters deemed necessary upon consultation between all parties.
- Outline of Planned Initiatives
The senior citizen percentage for Komatsu City as a whole is 28.7%, but there are districts in the mountainous areas where the percentage exceeds 40% (as of November 1, 2022). As the population in mountainous areas ages, there is concern about a decline in convenience for daily shopping and receiving medicine.
In order to maintain and optimize logistics services, the private sector and the government will work together to create a system for shopping on behalf of customers, disaster relief, and pharmaceutical delivery by incorporating drone delivery as the last one-mile transportation method and introducing a new smart logistics system that links and integrates ground transportation and drone delivery.
On December 23, we plan to conduct a drone delivery (demonstration) in the Matsuhigashi area. This will be an opportunity for local residents and children to see a drone take off and land, which will lead to interest and understanding of drones among local residents and children.
In the future, we will also collaborate with local businesses to study the societal implementation of “SkyHub®,” a new smart logistics system that combines drone delivery and land-based delivery.
The signing ceremony for the Collaborative Agreement was held on December 13 at Komatsu City Hall and was attended by Komatsu Mayor Shoei Miyahashi, Seino HD Executive Officer Shuji Kawai, KDDI SmartDrone Inc. President & CEO Masafumi Hirono, and Aeronext CEO Keisuke Toji, who made the following comments.
＜Comments from Shoei Miyahashi, Mayor of Komatsu City＞
We see the use of drones as one of the technologies that will change the way we live, as an infrastructure improvement that will make deliveries more efficient and help with shopping in mountainous areas.We are pleased to be able to conclude a collaboration agreement for regional development utilizing drones through a strong promotion system. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for this valuable opportunity.
＜Comments from Shuji Kawai, Executive Officer of Seino HD＞
In the area of last-one-mile delivery, Seino Holdings is responding to lifestyle and structural changes by leveraging its strengths in trunk line transportation, and is actively promoting and expanding the development of last-one-mile solutions to social issues such as measures for vulnerable shoppers and impoverished households.
In Komatsu City, we are pursuing the role of logistics in the “Creating Towns and People for the Future,” and how the implementation of technology can lead to the creation of a town where residents can live with peace of mind and maintain and improve services, such as the ability to receive prescription drugs without leaving the comfort of their homes. We will continue our efforts to build new air and land logistics models, with a view to automating logistics using drones in the future.
＜Comments from Keisuke Toji, CEO of Aeronext＞
A major social issue facing Japan is declining birthrate and aging population, resulting in depopulation and the loss of convenience in local communities. If we cannot solve problems related to “mobility,” in particular, among the life infrastructures that support local communities, the region’s population will continue to decline at an ever-increasing rate. We are happy to work with Komatsu City on the occasion of this collaboration agreement to help rebuild the infrastructure for “movement of people and goods” in the region, looking five to ten years into the future.
＜Comments from Masafumi Hirono, President & CEO, KDDI SmartDrone Inc.＞
KDDI SmartDrone Inc. is actively committed to solving issues faced by our customers and society by establishing a service that enables safe and secure remote and long-distance flights using mobile communications.
We hope to contribute to the realization of a society in which residents can live with greater peace of mind, and to the creation of an attractive town that harmonizes Komatsu City’s rich natural environment with cutting-edge technology, by solving shopping-related issues in mountainous areas and utilizing drones in times of disaster.
Through this collaboration agreement, the four parties will mutually collaborate and cooperate to help solve local issues and revitalize the community in Komatsu City by utilizing drones and other next-generation advanced technologies in line with the city’s issues and the needs of its citizens.
*1 New Smart Logistics
A public-private initiative to find solutions to the issues commonly faced by the logistics industry, such as labor shortages, environmental and energy issues, and DX areas, while utilizing digital and technology to ensure the future sustainability of logistics, which is an indispensable infrastructure for people’s daily lives. The project aims to realize the last mile joint delivery, the best mix of land and air transportation, freight and passenger consolidation, automated technology, etc., through co-creation based on an open public platform (O.P.P.) that transcends the boundaries between the industry and the outside world.
AirTruck, the first mass-produced logistics drone developed in Japan by Aeronext Inc., a next-generation drone technology startup, in collaboration with ACSL Ltd., achieves stable flight with Aeronext’s proprietary 4D GRAVITY®*3 airframe structure design technology. The AirTruck is a dedicated logistics drone that goes “faster, farther, and is more stable” with enhanced for logistics, specialized for forward motion, and aerodynamic characteristics required for long-distance flight. The prototype has flown in demonstration tests in various regions of Japan and has the No. 1 flight record in Japan.
*3 New Logistics SkyHub®︎
A new smart logistics system that connects existing logistics and drone logistics jointly promoted by Aeronext and Seino Holdings Co., Ltd., and connects the ground and air infrastructure so that goods can be delivered anytime, anywhere. It features an open platform and standardized mechanism that incorporates drone delivery and realizes joint delivery. The introduction of SkyHub will contribute to solving social issues in the region, such as population decline, labor shortage due to declining birthrate and aging population, traffic problems in specific depopulated areas, medical problems, disaster countermeasures, and measures against vulnerable logistics from the aspect of logistics reform. It is possible to raise the satisfaction level of residents and communities by improving the convenience and quality of life of residents, which is also meaningful in promoting regional revitalization.
【About Seino HD】
Seino Holdings strives to be a value-creating comprehensive logistics trading company and aims to “provide value that transcends time and space” to its customers. Seino embraces an overall strategy of the group is to embody “Open Public Platform Construction (OPP)” that provides better and optimal services to customers through connections both inside and outside the industry in an open-neutral relationship in order to build a platform that is easy for customers and other companies in the same industry to use. In the last mile area, we are actively promoting and expanding the construction of a last mile O.P.P. that solves social issues such as measures for vulnerable shopping and measures for lower income families, while responding to changes in lifestyle and structure.
* For more information: https://www.seino.co.jp/seino/shd/overall-condition/
Aeronext, an IP driven R & D technology startup for next-generation drones, is a company that designs the sky through technology to create a world where the sky becomes a social infrastructure, is economized, and solves social issues through drones. Our core technology is 4D GRAVITY®︎, a unique structural design technology that improves basic drone performance such as stability, efficiency, and mobility of industrial drones by optimizing the center of gravity of the aircraft. In order implement this 4D GRAVITY®︎ as standard equipment on industrial drones, we have constructed a strong patent portfolio and are promoting a partnership-based platform business for the 4D GRAVITY®︎ license globally.
AERONEXT has also founded a subsidiary to implement the SkyHub® smart logistics and pursue drone delivery.
*For more information: https://aeronext.com/company/
【About KDDI SmartDrone】
KDDI SmartDrone builds services that enable safe remote and long-distance flights by controlling drones using mobile communications such as 4G LTE. KDDI Smart Drone is working to create new businesses with drones and provide agile services that meet customer needs in various fields such as inspection, logistics, surveillance, agriculture, and surveying.
*For more information: https://kddi.smartdrone.co.jp/
*AERONEXT and the AERONEXT logo, as well as “4D GRAVITY®” and “SkyHub® are trademarks of Aeronext Inc.
*Other company names and product/service names mentioned in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.