Panasonic and Minato Ward Begin Field Study Utilizing Roadside Transformers as Ad Space and Street Signage®

Tokyo, Japan - Panasonic Corporation and Panasonic System Solutions Japan Co., Ltd. (hereafter collectively referred to as "Panasonic"), Tokyo Electric Power Company, and Tepco Town Planning Co., Ltd. (hereafter collectively referred to as "Toden PG") have joined hands to conduct a field study using roadside transformers capable of displaying advertising and Street Signage®*1 for information delivery starting from Jan 16, 2020 in the Toranomon area.

The field study will take a look at the solution's ability to display advertising and thereby generate funds necessary for running and maintaining the Street Signage® which will deliver information about the region, disaster prevention, information for tourists, etc. The roadside transformers can also be wrapped in advertising. Many roadside transformers are currently being implemented as part of efforts to reduce the number of utility poles above ground, which will in turn contribute to disaster prevention, enhance safety and improve the cityscape. There are hopes that by utilizing transformers to provide information, we may improve the natural disaster readiness of the region and also promote tourism. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has been seeking participation in a field study*2 to test the effectiveness of using roadside transformers to provide information on disaster prevention and tourism and Minato Ward became the first area selected for such field study.

The transformers will be installed near the above ground exits of the new Toranomon Hills Station*3 of the Hibiya Line which will open in June 2020. In normal times, these transformers will provide information from the ward, information about tourism, and the region as well as advertising. And in case of emergencies, critical information will be provided in 4 languages - Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. These transformers will provide appealing and essential information to ward residents as well as to the increasing number of tourists from across Japan and around the world.

Panasonic conducted a field study on advertisement distribution with the Minato Ward near the East Exit of the JR Tamachi Station back in 2018. Based on those findings, working together with the council established to attract visitors to the Toranomon area, Street Signage® will be used to provide information about evacuation routes as well as useful information for those who cannot get home in case of emergencies. Moreover, tests will be conducted on their usage as smart phone charging stations. They will also be equipped with sensors for audiovisual analysis.

Panasonic and Toden PG will continue to utilize roadside transformers and Street Signage® to test the viability and scalability of this solution, help enhance the city's disaster readiness as well as the utility of streets, and contribute to the vitalization of the region working together with local governments.

Field study overview

Duration:
January 16 to November 2020 (TBC)
Area:
Sidewalks in Toranomon 1-chome to 3-chome
(Near the "Toranomon Hills station" schedules to open in June 2020)
Operating hours:
4:30am to 1:00am
Content:
- Information from the ward, region
- Key information in case of emergencies in 4 languages - Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean
- News, financial market, weather, public transportation information*4
- Advertising
Equipment installed:
2 roadside transformers equipped with Street Signage® and 5 roadside transformers with wrapping only

*1 Tradename of the digital signage for roadside transformers jointly designed and developed by Panasonic and Toden GP.
*2 About MLIT's program for testing "digital signage catered to emergencies and tourism" utilizing roadside transformers as part of efforts to reduce utility poles.
*3 New metro station which will appear between the Hibiya Line Kamiyacho Station and Kasumigaseki Station.
*4 News will be provided by Nikkei Inc., information about the financial market, weather, and public transportation will be provided by QUICK Corp.'s aggregation platform.

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