Finance

Sony to form alliance to build taxi-hailing system

Sony to form alliance to build taxi-hailing system

Japan has a ban on using private cars for ride hailing services, which largely kills the ridesharing business model.

Hours later, Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi signaled his company's intention to expand further into the country. "But that product hasn't kept up with technological change".

The company has engaged with policymakers to find a solution but "despite consistent dialogue. we have yet to see any constructive progress on the regulations and can safely say we have exhausted all measures".

It is unclear as to why Sony suddenly wants to get into the taxi/transportation business, but it could be an interesting approach.

Uber still faces an uphill battle in Japan.

Kawanabe has set up its own taxi-hailing company, JapanTaxi, winning investment from Toyota Motor Corp along the way, and has 60,000 taxis registered with the service. Uber is also said to be in talks for a venture with Daiichi Koutsu. Sony has managed to assemble six taxi companies with a total of 10,000 taxi vehicles in Japan to join in the new venture. Sony is aiming to develop a ride-hailing app powered by artificial intelligence and also provide a payment services.

Pictured here is a taxi driving through an underground tunnel in Tokyo, Japan. "It's clear to me that we need to come in with partnership in mind, and in particular a partnership with the taxi industry here".

Tough rules legislate ride-hailing apps in Japan.

After years of little action, Japan's lackluster ride-hailing industry is suddenly seeing a lot of activity.

SoftBank is an investor in ride-hailing firms around the world including Didi, most recently becoming Uber Technologies Inc's largest shareholder in January.

A blog post has been released by the company, which writes about the recently announced move that it is not yet cleared that how will their service be integrated in the form of transport model now existing since it has launched in the transport industry three years ago. "We're very early in our relationship, but we're already having very good dialog, both about the Japanese market and the ecosystem that SoftBank has created".


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