It looks like Sony is venturing into a new business. Nikkei reports that the Japanese company is turning to taxis that could better use the AI technologies. Sony has managed to assemble six taxi companies with a total of 10,000 taxi vehicles in Japan to join in the new venture. Although it’s not necessary without competition.
The taxi-hailing platform will be AI-powered that can help taxis by learning about the weather, traffic and events. Automating the dispatch system and making more efficient use of drivers. An example provided was that the platform can direct taxis to crowded events where demand is expected to be high. There will also be a payment system on the platform which could benefit Sony with a constant stream of income.
Building a taxi-centric platform only makes sense for Sony because of Japanese legislation that bans any ride-sharing services that uses private cars. Which sort of limits the reach of ride-sharing companies like Uber. However, has not did not stopped Uber itself from attempting to enter market.
Uber is planning to team up with local taxi provider – Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo to provide a taxi platform; while Toyota recently invested a large sum of money into JapanTaxi app and is also working on its own AI taxi system.
Sony hasn’t announced any release date on its AI taxi venture. For the time being, the platform that Sony is developing is focused on the Japanese market only.