Ami Yamada, Tokyo – SmartDrive, a fleet management service startup, has teamed up with Japan's construction consultancy Nippon Koei to launch a project to help ease traffic congestion in Indonesia.
Tokyo-based SmartDrive will collect GPS data from smartphones and vehicles, while Nippon Koei will identify locations where traffic is congested and indicate on roadside electronic notice boards the time it will take to arrive at destinations. It will also provide information about routes that circumvent the congested areas.
The partners plan to begin testing the system in the eastern Indonesian city of Makassar in the spring. The project has been selected by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for its program supporting smart city projects overseas and thus will receive government subsidies. The companies plan to formally launch the service in 2022. They expect to receive payment for the project by the local public body managing roads.
Founded in 2013, SmartDrive has developed a system that manages commercial fleets by collecting operational data from them on a device connected to the lighter socket of each vehicle. SmartDrive now wants to harness the knowledge that it has gained in its Japanese operation to adapt to urban development projects and to develop a new insurance service.
Southeast Asia is one of the places where it sees potential given as traffic jams and accidents in some of those countries have become serious issues with the growth in automobile use.
In Malaysia, the company set up this year a local subsidiary through which it operates, in collaboration with local retail shops, a service that encourages safe driving by awarding points that can be redeemed in shops.