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The New Mobility: Opportunities and Challenges

November 17, 2018

Saturday, November 17 | 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM JST
Sanjo Kaikan Building, University of Tokyo

A Conference Highlighting Global Perspectives on Mobility in the Japanese Context

Co-sponsored by The Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation; the Manufacturing Management Research Center (MMRC), University of Tokyo; and the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, London Business School


The transformation of the mobility sector – encompassing the automotive sector and new entrants from the technology sector but also the providers of mobility services – has captured the attention of established incumbents, aspiring entrepreneurs, analysts/consultants, policy makers and activists. Mobility of individuals and goods underpins a key part of global GDP; provides livelihoods and boosts convenience and quality of life; generates externalities (e.g. congestion; greenhouse gas emissions; energy dependence; injuries/deaths); and affects us all daily.

We focus on the disruptive aspects captured by industry acronym CASE, i.e., vehicles that are Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric. These potential disruptions affect more than the industries directly providing mobility products and services. They can affect “how to get people and goods from A to B” for virtually all individuals and enterprises, particularly in the developed country economies where they will first be implemented.

In this one-day conference, we provide varied perspectives from both academic researchers and business practitioners on the opportunities and challenges of “the new mobility”, focusing on the Japanese context. These perspectives are global for two reasons. First, the researchers are drawn from PVMI, one of the largest and longest-established international research networks on the auto industry (a successor to the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) whose book The Machine That Changed the World helped introduce “lean production” to a broad audience). Second, the practitioners are engaged in mobility activities not only in Japan but also in Asia, Europe, and North America.

The conference has two themes, one featured in the morning and the other in the afternoon:

  1. “Connecting the Ground and High-Sky” – focusing on the technological convergence and intermingling of competition and collaboration for automotive and high-tech sectors
  2. “Disruption and Strategic Options in Fast-Moving Mobility Ecosystems” – focusing on rapid emergence of “ride-hailing” as a business model and the intense competition for dominance in various markets, emphasizing the Asian context

Read a report about this conference here.


9:00 a.m.–9:10 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction
John Paul MacDuffie, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and Executive Director, PVMI
View presentation here.

9:10 a.m.–9:40 a.m. – “Connecting the Ground and the High Sky: Impact on Automobile/Mobility Industry of the Future”
Takahiro Fujimoto, U. Tokyo and Executive Director, MMRC, and John Paul MacDuffie
View presentation here.

9:40 a.m.–10:20 a.m. – “From Electromobility to Autonomous Mobility in Europe: What Have We Learned? What Is Ahead?”
Prof. Christophe Midler and Prof. Remi Maniak, Centre de Recherche en Gestion (CRG), Ecole Polytechnique
View presentation here.

10:20 a.m.–10:40 a.m. – Break

10:40 a.m.–11:20 a.m. – “Honda’s Initiative on Automated Driving – Current Status and the Future”
Yoichi Sugimoto, Senior Chief Engineer, Automobile R&D, Honda Motor Company

11:20 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – “The New Mobility: The Long View, the Big View & the Big Research Questions”
James P. Womack, Founder and former President, Lean Enterprise Institute, and Charles Fine, MIT Sloan School and Dean of the Asia School of Business
View presentation here.

12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. – “From Automobiles to Mobility: Understanding the Role of Digital Ecosystems”
Michael G. Jacobides, London Business School
View presentation here.

1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. – OEM Partnerships in Urban Mobility Ecosystems

Moderator: Nina Teng, London Business School

  • Dominic Ong, Head of Automotive Partnerships, Grab
  • David K. Goh, General Manager, Daimler Mobility Services
  • Klaus Meder, President, Robert Bosch Japan

2:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m. – Break

2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m. – New Mobility Services Beyond Ride-Hailing

Moderator: Michael G. Jacobides

  • Emilie Potvin, Head of Public Policy & Gov’t Relations, North Asia, Uber
  • Hamid Akbari, CEO, Velocia
  • Kay Woo, CEO, TADA

3:45 p.m.–4:45 p.m. – Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Mobility Ecosystems

Moderator: John Paul MacDuffie

  • Yiting Lin, Regional Director of Japan, Singapore EDB
  • Hidetada Higashi, Associate Professor, Yamanashi Gakuin University
  • Johan Wallin, Managing Partner, Synocus Group
  • Tatsuro Imai, Senior Deputy Director, City Bureau of MLIT Japan

4:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m. – Wrap-up
Taka Fujimoto, John Paul MacDuffie, and Michael Jacobides

5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m. – Reception



  • Date: Saturday, November 17
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM JST