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Nommoc Introduces Japan's 1st Free Taxi Service





On May 8, the young entrepreneur Takumi Yoshida announced that the first free vehicle dispatch and transportation service in Japan would begin operating in March 2019, initially in the compact metropolitan area of Tenjin in Fukuoka City.


The service, called Nommoc, will require passengers to use an app to order a ride. While inside the car, the passenger will be exposed to a display screen that streams information on shops and products. Advertising sponsors shoulder the transport service’s operating costs, such as fares, in exchange for being featured in the moving billboards that are the vehicles.


Nommoc, which is also the new company’s name, is headed by Takumi Yoshida, who is known for becoming Japan’s youngest company president when he started a business at 15. He established 7sense Inc, a company involved in audiovisual lighting displays for large-scale events, at the time.



His new company, which is based in Fukuoka City, is aiming to raise ¥50 million through the stock investment cloud funding service FUNDINNO, which is operated by Japan Cloud Capital.


The company will start with around 10 vehicles focusing on service in the compact metropolitan area of Tenjin in Fukuoka City. The company then aims to expand into major cities, such as Tokyo, by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Following this, the plan is to move into overseas markets, such as Singapore.


Specifically, rides are ordered using a special smart-phone app, like the autonomous transportation service operated by U.S. Uber Technologies Inc. Since user information is sent via the app, the system identifies information of interest to the user, such as fashion brand and lunch recommendations, and then streams compatible advertising content during the ride on the display screen in the vehicle.


According to the company, in the future they plan to use AI to analyze behavior patterns of users to learn preferences and enable better matching of consumers and companies.




Shogo Otsuka is a staff writer, The Sankei Shimbun economic news department.



(Click here to read the original article in Japanese.)