Amidst concerns over environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming, expectations continue to grow for hydrogen as a reliable source of energy due to its potential to reduce CO2 emissions to zero. Securing clean energy resources is one of the most important challenges we face in the future. Accordingly, hydrogen is attracting widespread attention (especially in Japan, where there is high risk of energy shortages) as a next generation energy resource that can be extracted from water. Companies in various industries, including energy and automotive manufacturing, are now working to achieve a hydrogen energy society. In line with this, Fujitsu is also developing new initiatives using ICT.
Promoting hydrogen as a next-generation energy resource
Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) using hydrogen as fuel generate electricity via the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, emitting only the water produced by the reaction. In other words, widespread FCV use may lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and eventually overcome energy challenges. However, as of March 2015, there are still only a few hydrogen stations available for fueling an FCV in Japan. For this reason, the development of a system to communicate accurate hydrogen station information to FCV drivers has become very important.
To ensure drivers can freely drive FCV cars without being concerned about refueling, they need reliable timely information about when and where they can replenish hydrogen levels.
Fujitsu promotes the use of clean, next-generation energy, and helps realize a reliable energy resource for society, by creating services that provide hydrogen station information in real time. Fujitsu has developed and launched the cloud based Hydrogen Station Information Management Service, which gathers and delivers drivers important information about where they can fill up.
SPATIOWL connects drivers to hydrogen station information
Fujitsu's Hydrogen Station Information Management Service provides real-time information on the locations and operational status of fuelling stations using SPATIOWL, an open cloud platform(*1). In addition to conventional gas stations that are fixed in one location, in the future there will likely be mobile hydrogen stations. These mobile stations will change location depending on the hour, day or week. Thus, their management will also require real-time access to accurate operational information. SPATIOWL provides timely hydrogen station information.
- Note 1: SPATIOWL is a cloud service platform.
SPATIOWL is a term created by combining "spatio" (space) and "owl" (a symbol of wisdom). This solution was named SPATIOWL to illustrate our commitment to providing useful services by logically governing space. SPATIOWL uses massive amounts of diverse data obtained from; speeds and locations of moving vehicles, human movements and facilities, sensor information, and Internet information, to provide new value.
SPATIOWL is used in a variety of services that have recently been developed, including; Real-time Traffic Information Service, Road Management Support Service, and Urban Word-of-Mouth Information Service. It has also been used in projects such as Project for Providing Disaster Information to People on the Move, in which SPATIOWL was combined with open data from local communities; and a Childcare Support Application Verification Experiment, which displays information on events and availability.
Toyota Motor Corporation Case Study
Toyota Motor Corporation released the MIRAI, a fuel cell car, in December 2014 and started providing the MIRAI T-Connect DCM (Data Communication Module) package, available on the dedicated T-Connect navigation system or T-Connect navigation services.
In addition to T-Connect, the latest telematics service, Toyota's car navigation system also provides dedicated services designed to alleviate driver concerns about FCV fuel supplies. Fujitsu Hydrogen Station Information Management Service is used via two dedicated services: Hydrogen Station List, a navigation application, and Pocket MIRAI, a smartphone application. These services provide FCV drivers access to real-time information distributed by the Fujitsu Hydrogen Station Information Management Service, showing the location and operational status of hydrogen stations.
- Hydrogen Station List, a navigation application
The Hydrogen Station List, a navigation application, displays a list of three hydrogen stations located in the vicinity of the driver's car. The driver can confirm the location and check the status of the stations in real time, allowing them to choose and navigate to the most ideal destination.
- Pocket MIRAI, a smartphone application
Pocket MIRAI, a smartphone application, lets drivers search for hydrogen stations across Japan, including stations far away from the car, while at the same time displaying the remaining hydrogen levels and travel range. Drivers can also set stations as a destination on the car's navigation system.
"I believe the Fujitsu Hydrogen Station Information Management Service plays an important role in the development of a hydrogen society. The easy-to-use development environment was a great help, allowing us to create services in a short period of time. We will continue to carefully enhance these services by listening to feedback from customers and related suppliers, ensuring we provide them with a high level of satisfaction."
Towards a society based on sustainable energy
Energy issues are long-term challenges facing society as a whole. To accelerate hydrogen energy use and reduce CO2 emissions, we must not only provide environmentally friendly services, but also improve convenience for energy users.
In the future, we will expand our services by providing location based information on hydrogen stations in combination with traffic information and open data.
"SPATIOWL, the Fujitsu solution behind the Hydrogen Station Information Management Service, is an open cloud platform. Therefore, it enables collaboration with a wide range of companies. I believe that the use of hydrogen energy will be promoted through innovations created by different companies working together, each providing technologies in its specialized area."
Fujitsu strives to realize a prosperous society for everybody through the use of sustainable energy.
- Exhibition of the fuel cell vehicle MIRAI (March 2015)
The fuel cell vehicle MIRAI presented in this article is on display at Toyota Motor Corporation's Toyota Kaikan Exhibition Hall. In addition to a MIRAI body, technologies that enabled the mass-production of fuel cell vehicles, the internal structures of hydrogen tanks, and other parts usually inaccessible to the public, visitors can see hydrogen energy mechanisms, safety technologies, and the latest Toyota car models.
Toyota Kaikan Exhibition Hall
9:30 to 17:00 (Monday - Saturday)
Sundays, Year End and New Year's Holidays, Golden Week Holidays, and Summer Factory Holidays
Open hours are subject to change. Please check the official website.
Toyota Kaikan Exhibition Hall Information Service:
1 Banchi, Toyota-cho, Toyota City, Aichi, 471-8571; Tel.: 0565-29-3345