JAL has invested in a company related to next-generation mobility that is expected to contribute to the realization of seamless mobility and transportation through the Japan Airlines Innovation Fund (*1), a corporate venture capital fund (CVC) that invests in promising start-up companies. The fund is a corporate venture capital fund.
(*1) Press Release No. 18133 dated January 24, 2019 "JAL Establishes 'Japan Airlines Innovation Fund'"
JAL aims to expand its business domain with the goal of "shortening the distance between people, goods, and things around the world to realize an affluent society," using its accumulated know-how and assets related to safe flight operations as a starting point. As one of its initiatives, the company aims to provide "comprehensive air mobility services that realize seamless movement and transportation," and has been working on such projects as concluding a collaboration agreement for the verification of logistics services using drones (*2) and starting to consider the provision of services using eVTOL (*3) equipment (*4). (*4).
(*2) Press release dated January 24, 2020 "JAL and Yabu City, Hyogo Prefecture Sign Collaboration Agreement, Aiming to Solve Local Issues Using Drones".
(*3)Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing. It refers to a small aircraft that can take off and land vertically by rotating multiple rotor blades with electric motors. It is attracting attention as a next-generation urban transportation means that combines drone and electric vehicle technologies.
(*4) Press release dated February 12, 2020 "JAL and Sumitomo Corporation Form Business Alliance with Bell in Air Mobility Field".
In addition to investing in the following three companies related to next-generation mobility, JAL will provide support for growth through a specialized organization (*5) newly established within JAL in January 2020 to expand in this area, thereby deepening collaboration with the cutting-edge technologies and business models of each company and realizing value creation with an even greater sense of urgency than before. We will also support growth through a new specialized organization (*5) to be established within JAL in January 2020.
(*5) Mobility Group, Business Creation Strategy Department, Innovation Headquarters
■Volocopter GmbH(Headquarters: Germany, CEO: Florian Reuter, hereinafter "Volocopter")
The company is developing a next-generation type of air mobility called eVTOL, and is expected to expand its business globally in the future after successfully completing a manned flight demonstration in Singapore in October 2019.
■Bestmile SA(Headquarters: Switzerland, CEO: Raphael Gindrat, hereinafter "Bestmile")
The company has developed a platform that optimizes the management of vehicle dispatch and has been introduced in several cities around the world, and is expected to make a significant contribution to the spread of MaaS, including self-driving cabs.
■Fetch Robotics, Inc.(Headquarters: USA; CEO: Melonee Wise; hereinafter "FetchRobotics")
Fetch Robotics has developed an automated material handling robot and management platform for large-scale facilities such as warehouses and factories, which has been adopted by many companies for its effectiveness in complementing labor shortages by automating warehouse operations.
JAL intends to further promote investment, collaboration, and co-creation with next-generation mobility-related companies as well as start-ups in various fields in Japan and overseas. In addition to taking on the challenge of creating "value one step ahead" from a medium- to long-term perspective, the company will also promote initiatives aimed at achieving the SDGs, such as building a foundation for industrial and technological innovation and solving regional issues in areas such as disaster response and medical care.
Distributed by: PR TIMES
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