Electronics giant Sony announced a plan on Tuesday to provide an AI-based ride-hailing system to Japanese cab companies, while another taxi firm said they were in talks with Uber on a tie-up. "We are investing in technology on a global basis and at a scale that we don't believe a local player can match", he said showing confidence in boosting efficiency by using apps powered by artificial intelligence to predict potential demand. Sony says it intends to introduce different packages to suit the different needs of each platform. Because of controls that require cab drivers to hold unique licenses, organizations like Uber can't offer ride-sharing administrations in Tokyo and other significant Japanese urban communities (rather, Uber right now works just in little, rustic towns where there weren't any taxi organizations).
Uber now provides its ride-hailing services to limousines in Tokyo but has started to form an alliance with several taxi companies including Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo Co. headquartered in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture.
It is unclear as to why Sony suddenly wants to get into the taxi/transportation business, but it could be an interesting approach. SoftBank is an investor in Uber.
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Uber is pulling the brakes on its service in Morocco, which will cease on February 23, as it waits (and hopes) for local regulators to accommodate app-based ride-hailing.
Earlier in the year, Patrick Moulay, executive vice president for commercial helicopter sales, Bell Helicopter, said in an interview with Bloomberg, "Air taxi is the next way for our industry, and it's very important for us to make sure we are among the disrupters to think about what should be transportation in the next 10-20 years". Khosrowshahi pushed back against that notion in an interview he gave at Davos, saying the company would be "leaning forward" to expand.
Some of the most vigorous opposition to industry deregulation has come from the "prince of taxis" Ichiro Kawanabe, chairman of Japan's largest taxi firm Nihon Kotsu Co Ltd. China's Didi Chuxing Technology Co., another ride-hailing firm backed by SoftBank, is also said to be working on its own dispatch system in partnership with Japanese taxi operators.