Yokohama has long been a center for automotive and autoparts industries in Japan. In addition to Nissan, Mazda and Panasonic that all have major establishments in Yokohama, top international automotive parts suppliers such as Bosch (global headquarters in Germany) and Adient (U.S.) have chosen to locate in Yokohama. Many of these companies have invested in leading edge R&D that will pave the way to innovation in fields such as automation and Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Nissan, Denso, and other global companies have established specialized R&D facilities to accelerate research for new mobility solutions and spur open innovation with non-automotive collaborators. There are also several emerging mobility firms in Yokohama attracting international attention.
Yokohama’s universities are also playing a crucial role in advancing visionary research on next-generation mobility solutions. Most notably, Yokohama National University (YNU) has established a Next Urban Laboratory that aims to foster collaboration between regional actors and promote research projects in various interdisciplinary fields including mobility. Nearly 40 organizations including companies, universities and research institutions have joined this project as official partners. Keio University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology also work on mobility-related research on their Yokohama campuses.
Another major advantage is the city’s active role in promoting innovation and pioneering pilot projects to test out emerging technologies, including in the automotive field in Japan Through its IoT innovation platform ITOP Yokohama, Yokohama promotes innovation that stems from the fusion of manufacturing and IT, and supports collaboration across business, government, and academia. This cross-sector collaboration has given birth to numerous ground-breaking field tests conducted right in the middle of Yokohama’s booming business centers, involving technology such as autonomous and eco-friendly vehicles, drones, and robots. For example, Nissan Motors and DeNA have started field testing Easy Ride, a transport service utilizing driverless vehicles in the Minato Mirai 21 District in early 2018. One could say the future of mobility and automotive tech lies in Yokohama, Japan.
At a Glance
- As of 2017, Yokohama had a total of 152 transportation equipment manufacturers, which accounted for 6.5% of all 2,345 manufacturing establishments. There were 13,487 people employed by transportation equipment manufacturers, which accounted for 15.3% of all 88,058 people employed in the manufacturing sector.
- As of 2014, Yokohama had a total of 3,237 transportation & postal services establishments. A total of 92,978 people were employed in this sector.
An innovation platform for collaboration and exchange, project implementation, and human resources development to spur the growth of new businesses in IoT, big data, AI, and robotics, while capitalizing on Yokohama’s existing manufacturing and IT industries. In order to qualify for membership, companies/organizations/universities must be interested in engaging in open innovation to design new products or services using IoT etc., and either already work with SMEs or plan to involve SMEs in their prospective projects.
Website：http://itop.yokohama (Japanese Only)
Key Companies & Organizations
- Bosch Engineering
- Continental Automotive
- Faurecia Japan
- Magna Steyr Japan
- Magneti Marelli Japan
- Maruzen Showa Unyu
- Schaeffler Japan
- Sotetsu Holdings
- Utoc Corporation
- ZF Japan
Yokohama’s Mobility Industry: Deep Dive
Hayato Sugawara, Manager, L&P Automotive Japan KK (Left)Steve Henderson, Vice President, Leggett & Platt; President, Automotive Group (Middle)Barry Jones, President, North America, Chief...
On February 15-17, the City of Yokohama and WHILL, Inc., a Yokohama-based startup known for its high-tech, sleek looking personal mobility devices, partnered to host the Yokohama Future Mobility...
NISSAN MOTOR and DeNA Co., Ltd, as part of an ITOP Yokohama initiative, are launching the second field test of Easy Ride, a smart mobility ride-hailing service that involves a fleet of self-driving...
Hotbed of innovation in next-generation mobility Tourists visiting Yokohama might soon be able to move from one sightseeing spot to another on self-driving minibuses. The latest of a growing number...