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Special Award


Social EV Design Contest 2022

Conducted by the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV), Japan


Project Ryūshi examines the societal obstacles posed by Japan's aging population and the integration challenges faced by immigrants, offering a fresh, optimistic perspective on the prospects of immigrants in Japan.


To propose a 'society and social EV design' for 2040. Social EV is the mobility that is evolving and contributing to both public and private societal situations. For this particular challenge, we took the most pressing problem in Japan - Aging.


A service concept (by the Japanese government) that promotes a synergic relationship between elderly citizens and immigrants through an AI assistant and a mobility pod, aiding cultural adaptation for immigrants while offering assistance to Japan's aging population.


Our team was among the 200 international teams participating in the competition. We were invited to Japan to present our concept at CEATEC 2022 for the final round of the competition. The project won a 'Special Jury Award' in the final round of APEV Social EV Design Contest. The jury members highly appreciated it for its unique solution to an age-old problem for Japan and its population.

Anuraag Vasisht | Surya Sathi Roy

Design Research | Service Ideation | Vehicle Exterior | Figma


Read a concise concept note here

Japan is Aging Fast

Japan's super-aged society is the oldest in the world in 2020. It is expected that by 2036, people aged 65 and over will represent a third of the population. Not only that, Japan's population is expected to drop from 127 million in 2015 to 88 million by 2065.


Labor shortages​

​Increased burden on elders

​Depression among youths

Total Population

126 millions

3 Million Immigrants

Bringing Immigrants to Japan: Most obvious solution to the demographic challenge.

In April 2019, Tokyo implemented historic immigration reform, expanding visa programs to allow more than 345,000 new workers to immigrate to Japan over the subsequent five years.


Is Japan ready to be an immigrant country?

Many studies have shown that immigrants find it hard to adapt to the nuances of Japanese culture.





It is now critical to help these immigrants integrate successfully into society.

Introducing Ryushi Initiative

A Japanese Government policy under which aims to help the immigrants acclimatize to the Japanese culture and balance Japan's rapidly aging population.

Under this policy, a newly arrived young immigrant will be paired with an old Japanese local (called a Ryushi volunteer). The immigrant will take care of the paired senior volunteer in exchange for the cultural knowledge they will gain from them. This will ensure a faster onboarding of immigrants and a supportive young population to take care of the older population of Japan.

5 Stages of Ryushi Initiative

Ryushi Module and AI

The module allows the immigrants and the senior volunteer to travel together during a fixed time suitable for them. It is equipped with advanced Ryushi AI which helps them exchange cultural knowledge.


The exterior and interior of the module take inspiration from traditional Japanese architecture with features like the use of wood, multi-leveled design, seats that allows the users to sit in the Seiza position for better interaction, and a separate Genkan area, where the users can take off their footwear. The vehicle is built symmetrically to use fewer parts.

The module has an AI-powered Ryushi bot, which can project interactive content on the retractable table.


A tailored program

The immigrants are paired with different volunteers from different genders, professional levels, or interests according to what stage they are in their acclimatization journey.

During their travel, they follow a 4, 6, 8, or 10-week program with a one-hour-long daily session tailored by the AI and start exchanging notes on culture and society.

Different levels help these immigrants integrate into their surroundings with time. The program is available in different languages and accommodates the users' needs

Award Ceremony @ CEATEC 2022, Chiba, Japan



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