Sony has announced its plans to join forces with six taxi companies to build an AI-based ride hailing system in Japan in spring this year.
The electronics giant has signed a letter of intent with Green Cab, International Automobile, Kusumi Transportation, Daiwa Motor Transport, Checker Cab Radio Cooperative Association, and Hinomaru Transportation to improve convenience for customers in the island nation.
Under the plans, the new company formed will focus on the development and operation of services that use AI technology, the development and management of apps related to the ride hailing system, the use of taxi data, and the use of Sony’s payment service.
The services developed will be offered to all platforms available to taxi operators that wish to participate across Japan. Sony says it intends to introduce different packages to suit the different needs of each platform.
Currently in Japan, non-professional drivers are banned from offering taxi services due to safety concerns. As a result, ride hailing firms can only offer services that link users with existing taxi fleets via mobile.