Japan's Sony To Form Alliance To Build Taxi-Hailing System

Japan's Sony is planning for a joint venture with Daiwa Motor Transportation and five other domestic taxi firms to develop an artificial intelligence-based hailing system.

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Japan is seen as a potentially lucrative ride-hailing market, and Sony wants to enter this space

Highlights

  • Japan is seen as a potentially lucrative ride-hailing market
  • Sony plans for a joint venture to develop an AI-based hailing system
  • Plans JV with Daiwa Motor Transportation and 5 other domestic taxi firms

Sony Corp said on Tuesday it would become the latest blue-chip firm to jockey for position in Japan's taxi and ride-hailing market, with plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence-based hailing system.

Japan is seen as a potentially lucrative ride-hailing market, with regulators under pressure to ease stringent rules.

Currently, non-professional drivers are barred from offering taxi services on safety grounds, and ride-hailing companies are limited to services that "match" users to existing taxi fleets via mobile platforms.

Sony plans to build the AI-based hailing platform with Daiwa Motor Transportation and five other domestic taxi firms.

This month, SoftBank Group Corp and China's Didi Chuxing said they would roll out a venture in Japan this year to provide matching services.

Toyota Motor Corp has said it will take a stake in taxi-hailing service JapanTaxi, set up by Japan's largest taxi firm, Nihon Kotsu.

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Uber's new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, is in Tokyo meeting regulators on his first visit to the region in post.

© Thomson Reuters 2018


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