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Denso is paying 160 million yen for a 15% stake in On the Road (Image: Denso)

DENSO Corporation has taken an equity stake in On The Road Co. Ltd., with a view to accelerating development of technologies for Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Its investment of around 160 million yen (about $1.5 million) gives it a stake of just under 15%.

On The Road – like DENSO, based in Aichi prefecture, Japan – has expertise in cloud computing, edge computing and other platforms relevant to MaaS, as well as a track record in developing large-scale systems.

DENSO points to the need to collect and analyse real-time data from high-speed mobility, and then to feed it back to service providers via the cloud. It has identified MaaS as one key strategic area of technology development. It is "swiftly working on cloud computing technology to consolidate and share a wide range of vehicle information, AI technology to analyse collected data, in-vehicle edge computing, and more,” the supplier group says in a statement.

In its MaaS Concept, which it describes as “our vision of a cloud powered mobile future”, DENSO has replicated urban environments and traffic conditions to anticipate traffic issues in the virtual space. It demonstrates an architecture with two key technologies: ‘Mobility IoT Core’, which digitizes the vehicle’s status and sends data to the cloud, and ‘Digital Twin’, using that data to replicate the real environment in the virtual model to inform service providers. This is claimed to significantly reduce development times and costs for services, and to facilitate the matching of appropriate vehicles to services.

-Farah Alkhalisi