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Sony is building an A.I.-based taxi hailing system in Japan

  • Sony said on Tuesday that it has plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based taxi hailing system.
  • Sony plans to build the AI-based hailing platform with Daiwa Motor Transportation and five other domestic taxi firms.
  • Uber's chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, is in Tokyo meeting regulators.

Sony Corp said on Tuesday it would become the latest blue-chip firm to jockey for position in Japan's taxi and ride-hailing market, with plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based hailing system.

Japan is seen as a potentially lucrative ride-hailing market, with regulators under pressure to ease stringent rules.

Currently, non-professional drivers are barred from offering taxi services on safety grounds, and ride-hailing companies are limited to services that "match" users to existing taxi fleets via mobile platforms.

Sony plans to build the AI-based hailing platform with Daiwa Motor Transportation and five other domestic taxi firms.

This month, SoftBank Group Corp and China's Didi Chuxing said they would roll out a venture in Japan this year to provide matching services.

Toyota Motor Corp has said it will take a stake in taxi-hailing service JapanTaxi, set up by Japan's largest taxi firm, Nihon Kotsu.

Uber's new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, is in Tokyo meeting regulators.