The R&D Center for Frontiers of MIRAI in Policy and Technology is an open laboratory center for full-scale industry–university–government cooperation, where research and social implementation that aim to develop the future social infrastructure of local society are promoted. By holding up Division of Policy and Planning Sciences as the core, we will provide specific policy recommendations and promote their social implementation, to solve the economic and social issues of local society by coordinating the interdisciplinary work of the University of Tsukuba, the advanced technologies of several groups of business entities, and the verification experiment of the municipality. Above all, from the perspective of the image of future local society, where people, society and nature co-exist, we will carry out the most intensive research on the next-generation automobile traffic technology service, to realize active life where all people are able to move without personal or regional differences. In addition, we, as the center of the research, will proactively foster collaboration among industries, universities, and regions.
In this project, aiming to solve challenges in rural areas of Japan, where dependency on the automobile is high, we will verify the concept of “the next-generation Mobility Platform,” which will be the foundation on which to apply the technological innovation of the automobile to society. The technological innovation of the automobile is expected not only to solve traffic-related issues, such as eliminating traffic accidents, dissipating traffic jams, and improving the convenience of mobility, but also to create new social services and jobs by securing freedom of movement and eliminating the time–space constraints, and thus to contribute to solving economic and social problems in rural areas. We will strive to solve social issues, realize economic growth, and contribute to the economic cycle in local societies in the future, by connecting various innovations in automobile technology to society, and by developing “the next-generation automobile traffic infrastructure”, which will be the basis for social change.
We will foster industry–university–government cooperation among several groups of business enterprises, municipalities, and universities. We will promote inter-university collaboration, appeal for international initiatives, and develop human resources. We will develop centers for advanced research into the mobility infrastructure of future society, with the center on the university campus playing a central role. We will promote both the theorization of “next-generation automobile traffic infrastructure” which harmonizes with SDGs, and its implementation in local communities. By the end of this fiscal year we will start a conference for mobility innovation based on industry–university–government cooperation, to obtain necessary deregulations and support measures required for verification experiments, and coordinate with the existing International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zones, Regional Councils and Area Committees. Later, in revealing the obstacles which prevent the project from being realized, such as the legal system, we will spread its implementation towards the surrounding area and Japan’s rural areas. We will make recommendations on how to develop the regulations and standards and design the institution in the face of intense international competition. Those achievements will be announced locally and globally.
Tsukuba Science City at its core consists of the University of Tsukuba and various national research institutes. Young people who bear the future gather together with researchers, from home and abroad. The city, with its high receptivity of science technology and internationalism, is drawing attention as a place where it is possible to develop a center of open innovation and to carry out the early realization of the social application and implementation of mobility innovation. In 2019, it will be 100 years since the City Planning Act came into being. In 2020, it will be 50 years since the passing into law of the Tsukuba Science City Construction Act.
Building on the legacy inherited from our forerunners, we will work toward an early realization of zero traffic accidents, the dissipation of traffic jams, and freedom of movement by improving convenience through next-generation mobility. In addition, we will undertake research and development to realize a Science City helping to bring about future society, with an independent dispersed power source system function for times of disaster, separated from the main power system, to be the initial power source in preparation for the predicted Nankai Trough Earthquakes and Tokyo Inland Earthquakes, and to have a back-up function for the capital as well.
It is Japan’s largest pedestrian road network, extending over 48 km. It is planned to perform verifications of a new mobility service and installation of a mobility station (a hub for transfer and a self-sufficient energy base).
Common utility ducts are provided beneath major pedestrian roads. It is planned to use them to perform verifications of the building of the energy supply network for multiple self-sufficient energy bases.
Within the extensive campus (with its 10km circumference), in-school buses operate with high frequency. It is planned to use this to study signs of traffic jams and to verify the smoothness of transfers in terms of transportation means by measuring flows of traffic and pedestrians, in collaboration with the bus operator.