Amidst the COVID-19 impact over the past year, as of the end of March, JAF membership increased by about 220,000, reaching 19,931,000. In response to your support, this year too, we will continue to actively provide a variety of services to further improve member satisfaction and to solve problems facing the car society.
Referring to automobile clubs overseas, JAF was founded by the consensus of the automobile industry in 1963, ahead of the previous Tokyo Olympic Games, to solve various issues that were anticipated with the increase in foreign drivers vising Japan, along with the development of motorization. Now, more than half a century later, the automobile environment has grown and is changing at an accelerating rate.
In response to such changes in the external environment and to meet the expectations of automobile users, JAF has been enthusiastic in the promotion of IT and digitization of operations.
In our road service, we have shortened arrival time using our automatic vehicle dispatch system that makes full use of AI to respond to the ever-evolving automobile technology and diversifying relief needs. Furthermore, we are able to deliver a sense of security by directly providing customers with information using the failure diagnosis tool installed in the road service vehicle.
The JAF smartphone app too, enhances convenience not only with the rescue request function that shows the current location of the road service vehicle, but also by seamlessly linking to preferential services via digital membership cards, as requested by many of our members. Meanwhile, liking with our official website improves usability with easy browsing of information and driving courses nationwide.
Our social contribution activities cover a wide range, including assistance for disaster-stricken areas, traffic safety awareness, and regional revitalization.
Last year too, heavy rain disasters brought about serious damage to many people. JAF actively participates in disaster awareness drills by local governments to set up a system that enables speedy and appropriate response to relief requests from disaster-affected customers under harsh conditions.
Last year, we also conducted our fifth survey on pedestrian protection on crosswalks with no traffic lights, with results widely covered in mass media annually. This time the rate of stopping exceeded 20%, showing a continual rise since the survey began. However, the reality is that 80% of the cars are not stopping. As such, we will continue to work with related organizations to promote awareness activities.
In regional promotion activities, in consideration of the times, we are offering services for enjoyment at home through the internet such as a drive stamp rally and increased local specialties that can be purchased on our EC site.
Last year, while motor sport events nationwide were threatened with the impact of COVID-19, various countermeasures were taken against the spread of the disease with the cooperation of related parties and we were able support the staging of JAF official competitions from top category to auto tests that even motor sport beginners can enjoy. Going forward, we will continue to work closely with motor sports clubs in each region for further revitalization.
At JAF, we will continue to do our utmost to contribute to the development of a healthy automobile society and ask for your ongoing support this year as well.
Japan Automobile Federation (JAF)