Sony forms alliance to introduce AI based cab hailing service in Japan
Category: #world  By Paroma Bhattacharya  Date: 2018-02-20
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Sony forms alliance to introduce AI based cab hailing service in Japan

Sony apparently plans to broaden its technology and business profile through the development of a Japanese taxi hailing system using artificial intelligence and algorithms to predict demand. In effect, Sony seems to be on the verge of competing with others like Toyota Motors and SoftBank backed Uber, that have already delved into the taxi hailing service in Japan.

Sony will be collaborating with five other taxi operators, namely, Daiwa Motor Transportation, Kokusai Motorcars, Checker Cab Group, Hinomaru Kotsu and Green Cab to build this platform. Sony will apparently also be developing a smart algorithm to analyze a host of factors like the weather, traffic conditions and past rides to dispatch taxis.

Sony does not seem to stand alone in the pursuit of seizing Japan’s nascent cab hailing platform market. Toyota has already collaborated with the app developer, JapanTaxi, to invest USD 70 million in Nihon Kotsu, one of Japan’s largest taxi operators. This alliance will have a fleet size of 60,000 taxis and will also operate on the basis of AI powered dispatch system.

Uber Technologies, the U.S based taxi dispatch system giant, is planning to collaborate with Japan’s Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo to launch a cab hailing platform in Japan. Daiichi Koutsu is also joining hands with China’s largest cab hailing company, Didi Chuxing. Both Didi and Uber are reportedly backed by SoftBank.

Sources state that Uber is being handicapped by Japan’s ban on using privately owned vehicles for ride hailing which is the trademark of Uber’s services. According to The Star, safety regulations also ban non-professional drivers from tendering taxi services and ride hailing companies are restricted to offer services that uses mobile platforms to correspond users to established taxi fleets.

For the record, several companies have started to collaborate with the transport ministry of Japan to develop apps that will help cab riders to determine the cost of the cab ride in advance and apps that will enable distance-based fee payments.



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Paroma Bhattacharya

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Paroma Bhattacharya

Paroma currently works as a content developer for Algosonline, MSF and a series of alike platforms. Fortified with a post-graduation degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, she delved head long into a writing career, creating resourceful and information enriched ...

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