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Mitsubishi Fuso showcases its open innovation culture at the Fuso Future Solutions Lab

July 31, 2020

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia, held the “Fuso Future Solutions Lab” to introduce its open product development process at the Kawasaki headquarters on Thursday, July 30.

In addition to conventional product development processes, MFTBC has been conducting a variety of initiatives inside and outside the company to encourage innovative product ideas that address social needs and challenges. Under the leadership of the Product Engineering department, MFTBC has organized various workshops and hackathons with Japanese and overseas universities, as well as collaborations with start-ups, where external participants were also invited. Through these events, over 100 ideas to date have been generated, including proposals from departments outside of engineering.

At the “Fuso Future Solutions Lab,” MFTBC presented two concept trucks developed with the aim of addressing social challenges. The eCanter SensorCollect is a concept garbage collection truck based on the all-electric eCanter. The vehicle proposes an application of the emissions-free light-duty truck to make essential garbage collection services more efficient and environmentally conscious. Operators can control the eCanter SensorCollect remotely, through a wireless HMI (Human Machine Interface). Fitted with LiDAR, ultrasonic sensors and high-accuracy GPS, the truck can safely perform remotely transmitted commands by detecting people or objects in its vicinity. These commands include following the operator, halting, avoiding obstacles, and stopping immediately if a person or object comes in close proximity to the vehicle. These functionalities are intended to boost the efficiency of garbage collection workers, potentially reducing the number of workers required for day-to-day operations with improved safety.

The Canter ATHENA also introduced at the event, is a concept model based on the 4WD Canter that was built for emergency rescue purposes. Jointly developed with Kokushikan University Research Institute of Disaster Management and Emergency Medical System, the vehicle was exhibited at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show in 2019 as a response to the unique situational demands of a natural disaster. The Institute plans to deploy the Canter ATHENA in actual emergency responses in the future.

“Creating innovation is one of the major pillars of Research and Development at MFTBC, as it decides long term market leadership. We will continue to develop innovative products to address customer and societal needs with our advanced technologies,” said Aydogan Cakmaz, Senior Vice President and Head of Product Engineering.

The eCanter SensorCollect concept garbage truck

The Canter ATHENA concept disaster rescue truck