Future Movement: Highlights From The 2023 Japan Mobility Show

For the first time in four years, the Japan Motor Show returned to Tokyo with a new identity: the Japan Mobility Show. The event’s new name reflects the changes of this year’s event. Hoping to broaden its appeal, organizers brought in automotive companies, tech startups, and other cutting-edge transportation devices. And the event separated itself from other global auto shows, pushing industry boundaries by turning dreams into reality.  

The Japan Mobility Show wasn’t just an opportunity for well-established Japanese automotive giants to unveil their visions for the future of mobility technology in Japan, it was a platform for startups to collaborate and showcase their innovative concepts and ideas.  

Hundreds of companies came together to present technology, network, and strive to address pressing global challenges. Here are a few examples of the remarkable technology featured at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, which ranged from vehicles powered by alternative fuels and giant robots to a project that hopes to allow everyday people to go into space. 

Creating a Greener Japan 

Electric vehicles are by no means new, but as the fight against climate change ramps up, so do innovations for eco-friendly vehicles. To combat carbon emissions in Japan, the country’s automobile manufacturers are constantly developing sustainable transportation alternatives. Buses that run on biofuel and wheels made from wheat and other natural materials were just some of the innovative ideas the event introduced.  

At leading manufacturer Honda’s Dream Loop booth, the company unveiled two concept vehicles: the Sustaina-C concept car and a motorcycle called the Pocket Concept. Both models are battery-powered and made of acrylic resin that has been recycled and reused. Through these concept vehicles, Honda hopes to achieve its goal of environmental sustainability. Both designs are powered by two units of Honda power pack e—reusable batteries that expand the use of renewable energy.

From Honda

Honda and Isuzu unveiled the GIGA Fuel Cell alongside their multiple concept buses and cars. GIGA Fuel Cell, a heavy-duty truck developed by the two automotive giants, is powered by hydrogen. The growing popularity of the element as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels marks a significant step for automobile manufacturers. 

Another standout concept from this year’s event was the Suzuki DB140 MPC. Although the Outboard has a gas-powered engine, the motor’s outside cylinders employ an oil-catching structure that prevents excess oil from entering the water. Additionally, the boat uses technology to catch microplastics as it makes its way through the water. 

The Nissan Hyper Punk was undoubtedly one of the show stealers—the concept car sports 23-inch wheels to support its ultra-angular body. The appearance of the vehicle is just the beginning. The electric car, dubbed a “mobile creative studio,” is made with content creators, artists, and other creatives in mind. The exterior of the vehicle is equipped with cameras that cover the vehicle’s surroundings, while the interior features a headrest equipped with AI technology that senses the driver’s mood, changing music and lighting to boost morale when necessary. Not only is the Nissan Hyper Punk eco-friendly, but it can also contribute to a healthier driving environment. 

Make Way for the Mecha

Robots have been integrated into modern society for some time now. Robots clean houses, operate in assembly lines, and even serve at restaurants. But the question remains: When will society build the robots seen in movies? It turns out the startup company Tsubame Industries is making that dream a reality with the Archax. The colossal, 4.5-meter-tall pilotable robot is something pulled right out of science fiction. 

Weighing a hulking 3.5 tons, the Archax features an iron, aluminum alloy, and steel-plated frame covered in reinforced fiber plastic and ASA 3D printed filament. The intricate design supports the movements of the robots’ human-like limbs. 

The Archax can also transform into vehicle mode. This mode’s hunched appearance and wider stance allow for a travel speed of 6.2 kilometers an hour. Two joysticks, two pedals, and four displays connecting to all nine of the robot’s exterior cameras can be found inside the single-person cockpit. Here, the pilot can seamlessly switch between robot and vehicle mode. 

Attendees had the unique opportunity to witness a demonstration of the Archax at the event. Although it only showed off limited movements of the mech’s front legs, arms, fingers, and head, it was enough to showcase the vast capabilities and potential of Tsubame Industries’ pioneering creation.

The company aims to create a new market for ride-on robots, with the benchmark for the product being luxury cars and planes. Right now, the Archax appears to be a luxury toy for wealthy customers. But there’s potential for the technology to be implemented in other fields. 

An Open Universe 


Another project pushing industry boundaries for leisure transportation is Hokkaido start-up companies Iwaya Inc. and Iwatani Giken’s Open Universe Project. Given the successes of  companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, the possibility of going up into space over a weekend is becoming more and more realistic. However, the Open Universe Project is taking a different approach to commercial space travel. 

It aims to democratize space travel, making it open to more people. The project uses special balloons that utilize Iwatani Giken’s cutting-edge technology to make space travel safe and affordable. The company’s T-10 Earther cabin, which enables safe and comfortable space travel, uses several patented technologies for the cabin’s frame design and structure so that the change in air pressure in the cabin is less than that of an airliner when it ascends to higher elevations. The orb-shaped craft is equipped with a large dome-shaped window for full viewing of the earth’s atmosphere. 


Although it’s only natural to question the safety of a spacecraft that uses a balloon to travel 25,000 meters above the Earth’s surface, it’s actually quite safe. The balloon maintains consistent buoyancy when descending from the stratosphere and acts as a parachute in the rare event of a disaster. The project has had a 100 percent success rate over 300 launches—the highest number of successful launches in Japan. The Open Universe Project’s innovative approach to space tourism will undoubtedly change how humans perceive space travel in the future. 

The 2023 Japan Mobility Show set the tone for the future of auto shows and established a new benchmark for innovation and sustainable solutions in the mobility field. We can’t wait to witness the next innovations that are waiting for us at next year’s event.

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