AI handles routes to Sapporo sightseeing spots. Trials in February, plan to extend throughout Hokkaido

"Satsu Navi" app display

The Sapporo Sightseeing MaaS Public-Private Sector Promotion Council began investigatory trials on February 1 for “Satsu Navi”, a free web app which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend Sapporo sightseeing facilities and provide optimal travel routes. The goal is to investigate the level of satisfaction users feel towards the web app, with the goal of potentially expanding usability all throughout Hokkaido after novel coronavirus spreading abates.

Satsu Navi can be accessed from smartphones and computers. Users can input multiple fields, including departure and destination locations and how long they plan to stay at destinations as well as preferences such as “I want to experience nature,” or, “Low budget trip.” The AI displays options from among approximately 100 sightseeing facilities in Sapporo. The user selects a facility from among the options, and the app gives directions combining routes that include subway, streetcar, and bus information. Users can also request taxi pickup.

The trial will last up to February 21. The Public-Private Sector Promotion Council, which is composed of Sapporo based IT companies, sightseeing companies, and the Sapporo city government, will release a questionnaire asking questions such as if Satsu Navi was useful, and check the effectiveness of the app. The Council will also collect data comparing the selections users entered and the sightseeing locations they actually selected, and link this towards improvement of AI accuracy.