EDMONTON, ALBERTA – May 13, 2021 – NTT, Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN), with support from the Invest Alberta Corporation (IAC), announced today that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly develop smart transportation projects. The MOU includes plans to deploy a Smart Solutions pilot to deliver a digital on-demand bus service in and around EIA's Airport City. This pilot will leverage a data-driven approach to improve the commuter experience and generate behavior insights for future solutions.
EIA is Canada's fifth-busiest airport and serves 8.2 million passengers per year with non-stop service to 50 destinations worldwide.
"Thanks to our collaboration with NTT and JOIN, we will be able to deliver smart transportation services and solutions related to on-demand service and Mobility as a Service (MaaS)," said Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport. "Enhancing passenger experience and improving social, environmental, and economic impacts are some of EIA's strategic initiatives that we believe will be accelerated by this partnership with NTT and JOIN."
By leveraging NTT Smart Solutions, the initial phase of the pilot will focus on on-demand ride-hailing, flexible bus routing, scheduling and occupancy. Passengers will benefit from improved booking options with online booking via a mobile app and web portal. The service will allow for a near door-to-door service with bus routes and schedules adjusting in real-time to best suit commuter convenience.
Drivers will access a dedicated driver application providing route guidance between virtual stops while enabling them to manage trips. Occupancy information will be calculated for administrators to manage the operation in real-time and predicted occupancy would provide insights into the number of riders expected at select virtual stops in the future.
The on-demand bus solution will be managed by a centralized Smart Transit Central System that will allocate a shuttle to pick up passengers from their requested locations and then take them to their destinations via the best route calculated in real-time.
"We are very excited about this partnership with EIA and are honored to see NTT Smart Solutions supporting their strategic objectives," said Akira Shimada, Senior Executive Vice President, NTT. "By creating a Smart Transit System, we are also laying the foundation for other innovative services, such as on-demand autonomous shuttle solutions, that EIA and NTT will explore as part of our continuous investment in innovation and sustainability."
Following the successful rollout of this initial pilot focused on five buses, EIA will consider expanding this service to other bus lines and service areas with the possibility of including customized functionalities and additional data sources, such as flight schedules.
"We are delighted to partner with JOIN and implement NTT's Smart Solutions to provide continual data analysis and reporting to better inform decisions around shuttle usage for EIA," said Leslie Ormel, President, NTT DATA Services Canada. "NTT DATA's local presence in the province, combined with its success with Smart Solutions in other cities, were key to providing the expertise needed for this project."
"We are pleased to partner with EIA and NTT for the development of smart transportation projects in EIA's Airport City," said Mr. Tatsuhiko Takesada, President and CEO, JOIN. "We intend to continuously support NTT and other Japanese companies in their overseas smart cities business by helping them bring high-end Japanese technologies from the upstream of development and promoting their investment."
David Knight Legg, CEO, Invest Alberta Corporation, echoed these comments, adding, "Alberta is incredibly excited for NTT and JOIN to select EIA and the Province as the first test site in North America to deploy its new on-demand public transportation platform. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region continues to establish itself as a leader in digital innovation and smart city initiatives, and IAC is gratified to work with global leaders like NTT and JOIN from Japan to develop new innovative solutions in Alberta and beyond."
NTT Smart Solutions were initially conceived to enhance public safety in the City of Las Vegas in 2018. Since then, they have also adapted to track usage and occupancy in parks and beyond and with implementations by other clients in several industries – including the University of California, Berkeley for curb management, IndyCar for the improved fan experience, Chicago's Navy Pier for increased situational awareness and transit agencies for passenger safety. NTT is planning to continue to move forward in occupancy and transportation capabilities and address new challenges facing organizations worldwide while also contributing to local economic development.
About Edmonton International Airport
Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is a self-funded, not-for-profit corporation whose mandate is to drive economic prosperity for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. EIA is Canada's fifth-busiest airport by passenger traffic and the largest major Canadian airport by land area. EIA offers non-stop connections to destinations across Canada, the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. EIA is a major economic driver, with an economic output of over $3.2 billion, supporting over 26,000 jobs. EIA's Airport City propels new jobs, tourism and economic diversification – and creates a destination in and around EIA, featuring entertainment, e-commerce, retail, hospitality, cargo/logistics, biopharma, light manufacturing, and many other industries. EIA is focused on digital strategy to ensure it becomes the airport of the future. For more information, visit www.flyeia.com.
About Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN)
JOIN is a Japanese government-private sponsored infrastructure investment fund company established in Japan in October 2014. Our aim is to encourage Japanese companies to utilize their accumulated knowledge, technology, and experience in the field of infrastructure to expand overseas. We believe that our contribution will lead to mutual economic growth for both Japan and the host countries. As global demand for infrastructure continues to grow, especially in emerging countries, there is a strong need for building and operating infrastructures through Public-Private-Partnerships ("PPP"). While various risks exist in overseas infrastructure projects such as large initial investment, long project period, and demand risk during operation etc., JOIN's role is to provide not only equity but also hands-on support to the projects participated by Japanese companies. The promotion of the infrastructure system in the overseas markets is one of the key policies of the Japanese Government, and JOIN will continue to contribute to this by playing a constructive role with our partners. For more information, visit www.join-future.co.jp/English.
About the Invest Alberta Corporation
The Invest Alberta Corporation is dedicated to investment attraction, with a mandate to engage the world and provide high-end tailored support to companies, investors, and major new projects. Alberta, Canada, has the country's lowest corporate payroll and sales taxes; the youngest, best-educated workforce, and the most livable and affordable cities. With offices in markets around the world, the Invest Alberta Corporation works to break down barriers and cut red tape so investors and businesses can start-up, scale-up, and succeed without limits. For more information on Invest Alberta, visit investalberta.ca