Sony partners with 5 cab-hailing companies in Japan to launch an AI-enabled system

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Published: February 20, 2018 5:49:04 PM

The announcement comes in when Uber’s chief Dara Khosrowshahi, who is visiting Asia, stated that he’s looking for partnerships with cab-hailing services in Japan. Dara believes that Japan is an extremely important market and that the company’s strategy has failed in the past.

Sony partners with 5 cab-hailing companies in Japan to launch an AI-enabled system

Sony Corp, on Tuesday, stated that it will be building an AI-powered cab hailing system in Japan. The company has partnered with 5 cab companies in Japan, namely: Green Cab Co., Ltd., International Automobile, Kusumi Transportation Corporation, Daiwa Motor Transportation Corporation, Checker Cab Radio Cooperative Association and Hinomaru Transportation Corporation. The AI-system will manage cab dispatches and demand-based on weather, traffic conditions etc.

The announcement comes in when Uber’s chief Dara Khosrowshahi, who is visiting Asia, stated that he’s looking for partnerships with cab-hailing services in Japan. Dara believes that Japan is an extremely important market and that the company’s strategy has failed in the past.

Sony in a statement stated that the taxi companies operate more than 10,000 cabs in Japan. Sony will be offering AI-services and apps to taxi operators in the country. Regulations require taxi drivers to hold special licenses which disallows companies like Uber to operate in Tokyo and other major towns. When someone books a cab in Japan the app matches passengers with those special licenses instead of non-professional drivers.

Moreover, JapanTaxi and Toyota recently announced their AI-based cab hailing services too. JapanTaxi holds operates over 60,000 taxis in Japan, nearly one-fourth of the total number of cabs in the realm.

The technology behemoths are still looking to make a mark in the sector by using artificial intelligence  to improve the cab-hailing infrastructure instead of pushing autonomous fleets. Softbank being one of the early investors in Uber and Didi Chuxing, will be looking at Sony’s partnership and how it plans to develop the growing sector of AI-powered cab services.  

In a report released by Goldman Sachs, the estimated worth of the industry will be $285 billion by 2030. They are estimating the global taxi market at $108 billion, which is almost three times the size of $36 billion ride-hailing market.

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