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Press Release | TOKAI RIKA Digitalkey provides digital key system to the vehicle share service LOMACA of LOMA Inc.

– TOKAI RIKA Digitalkey implements a service model that allows uses to contactlessly rent and return vehicles wherever they like –

TOKAI RIKA Digitalkey, the strategic business collaboration of Tokai Rika Co., Ltd. and dotD Inc provides a system that allows vehicles to be locked and unlocked using smartphones, and has been adopted by LOMA Inc (Headquarters: Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City / Representative Director: Yoshitomo Nakagawa / Referred to below as “LOMA”)’s vehicle-sharing service LOMACA. Demonstration tests have been conducted in Fukuoka City since May.

LOMACA is a service that delivers share vehicles within a radius of 5km from the branch to the customer and 30 minutes of the customer’s order. TOKAI RIKA Digitalkey, as a system that is able to lock/unlock vehicles with a smartphone, is provided to LOMACA and consists of an in-vehicle smart device called “FREEKEY Box”, and a smartphone app for demonstration tests called “FREEKEY for CAR”. By temporarily granting the customer’s smartphone the authorityto lock/unlock a vehicle, customers can contactlessly receive the share vehicle, and they can then simply park the vehicle in a coin-operated parking on their choice in order to return it. After confirming that the vehicle has been returned, a staff member will go to the parking riding a carriable EV bike to collect the vehicle.

Reserve a share vehicle using smartphone.
Reserve a share vehicle using smartphone.
A staff delivers the share vehicle to the customer and returns riding the EV bike.
A staff delivers the share vehicle to the customer and returns riding the EV bike.
When finished with the vehicle, return it to a coin-operated parking area of your choice.
When finished with the vehicle, return it to a coin-operated parking area of your choice.
A staff on their way to collect the share vehicle that has been returned.
A staff on their way to collect the share vehicle that has been returned.

The in-vehicle smart device FREEKEY Box, provided by TOKAI RIKA DigitalKey, allows the vehicle to be locked/unlocked through a smartphone app, by just setting the mechanism in the vehicle with the physical vehicle key inside. This enables the contactless delivery of vehicles. Additionally, the setting and power connection of FREEKEY Box can be done easily and smoothly, and due to BLE*1 communication, it is possible to use the key even when in an offline environment where you cannot use the internet.

left : Image of storing the key in the FREEKEY Box
center : Image of setting the FREEKEY Box inside a car
right : Image of locking/unlocking the car using the smartphone app

In the future, TOKAI RIKA Digitalkey plans to provide LOMA with API*2 and SDK*3 for the full-scale operation of digital keys in LOMACA. Without the need for large-scale system development, in-vehicle smart device operation function with BLE communication, key authorization management function, and coordination with every kind of log data become possible with LOMACA’s management system. With this, the users of the service will not be required to download any other apps, and will be able to lock/unlock the vehicles directly through LOMACA’s app.

*1 BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy): Low power consumption wireless communication technology used in electronic devices, etc.

*2API (Application Programming Interface): A function for linking outside apps to the system. In this case, it refers to the ability to link the TOKAI RIKA Digitalkey server to the LOMACA server in order to distribute digital keys to the smartphones of the service users.

*3SDK (Software Development Kit): A package that includes the program necessary for developing the software, and documents. In this case, it refers to the program necessary for using digital keys via the LOMACA app on smartphones.

(reference)

Future development of “LOMACA”

It started from 3 units in March 2020 and has now exceeded 60 units (only in Fukuoka city). We are planning to increase the number of vehicles by 200 at 10 bases in Fukuoka City by the end of 2022. Currently, we are conducting demonstration experiments only in Fukuoka city, but we will take advantage of “LOMACA”, which combines the advantages of car sharing (non-face-to-face / non-contact) and the advantages of rental cars (cleaning, sterilization, inspection and maintenance). Utilizing this, we aim to aim for 500 bases by 2027, mainly in ordinance-designated cities.

LOMA Inc

CEO: Yoshitomo Nakagawa

Date of establishment : March 3, 2020

Location: Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Business: Service platform development and service management of car sharing service “LOMACA”

URL   : https://www.loma.jp


◼ TOKAI RIKA’s digital key website (English):

https://digitalkey.jp/en