I found that Hitachi, Ltd., a leading Japanese general electronics
manufacturer and IT company, has developed an application that allows
you to use subways, buses, cable cars, pay elevators, car sharing, etc.
in Genoa, Italy, without having to bring anything.
That app, so called “GoGoGe " on your smartphone and put your
smartphone in your pocket or bag, you don't need to operate the app. In
addition, this app can also display the degree of congestion of
vehicles, so you can check the degree of congestion before boarding the
subway or bus, so you can avoid congestion.
Furthermore, with this app, the fares used on that day will be billed
together the next day. It seems that the cheapest fare will be
calculated based on the travel route data. For example, if you use the
subway multiple times, the total amount will be compared with the amount
of the "one-day ticket", and the cheaper one will be automatically
According to a Hitachi representative, the development of " GoGoGe "
began in 2021, when the COVID19 spread, and in Europe, public
transportation such as trains and buses was used to avoid contact with
others. It is said that the number of users was decreasing sharply. With
the business situation of railway companies on the decline, a client
asked Hitachi to come up with a solution that would make users want to
use public transportation again.
In response, Hitachi came up with a function to improve user
convenience, and arrived at the concept of "making it possible to use
all modes of transportation in one app."

When I heard this news, I thought about various things. I think that
what has changed our lifestyles in the past was white goods and AV
appliances in the home, and until recently, hardware such as Walkman,
mobile phones, and PCs. This is the field in which Japanese companies
excel most. This has changed dramatically with the spread of the
Internet and the advent of smartphones. It has become a world where apps
change the way we live. It's interesting to see a Japanese company,
albeit a local acquirer in this app space, looking to change the way
people live. If this is successful in Genoa and spreads widely, wouldn't
the image of Japanese companies in Europe change?
In addition, "Handsfree travel” has not yet started in Japan. In order
to introduce such an app in Japan, I think it would take a huge amount
of time to clear various regulations and coordinate with each business
operator. I don't know what the situation is in Genova, but I can't help
but feel that it would be much easier to introduce advanced apps and
It is also highly suggestive that the development of this app was
triggered by the screams of railway operators due to the corona
disaster. Was there such an app in Japan? It would be a bad joke if it
was the now-forgotten COCOA. It is often said that crises are
opportunities, but I feel that the failure to find business
opportunities in such crises is one of the reasons for the stagnation of
the Japanese economy.

While I was thinking about that, I'm tempted to go to Genoa and have
some good pasta.

Hirokazu MORITA

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