Sony jumps into Japan taxi market with AI app plans

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi ride-hailing firms Uber Japan services taxi services Ola transportation service Soft Bank Uber investment Asian taxi market

Amid heavy operating losses Uber has retreated from some markets including China and Russia

The Japanese electronics giant, along with Daiwa Motor Transportation Corporation and five other taxi firms, will aim to establish the new company in the spring.

The ride-hailing company previously said it planned to have flying taxis running in Los Angeles by 2020.

Sony's plan to join the ride-hailing service market may be facing a challenge already as Uber's CEO, Khosrowshahi also revealed the company's plan to liaise with some Japanese taxi companies to improve its market opportunities shortly after Sony's announcement. So, Uber can no longer offer ride-hailing services like it does in Europe and the United States of America.

Japan has largely confounded the ride-hailing pioneer, as opposition from taxi drivers and regulators relegated it to seeking growth namely via food-delivery service UberEats.

Uber's newest chief executive Khrosrowshahi noted that if Uber wants to be successful, tbose parties will need to open its doors to new partnerships.

"Japan is an enormous market", Mr. Khosrowshahi said.

What seems clear: A lot of factors still need to line up for the concept of flying taxis to become viable in places like the USA, but with so much interest and development, it's looking more and more likely. Just a very small percentage of taxis are linked to smartphones, which has become another issue for companies like Uber to make a mark in the Japanese market.

This is also far from the only major investor partnering with taxis for app investments.

"The question is what does Toyota think about ride-sharing", said Seiji Sugiura, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center in Tokyo. Furthermore, another news came up relating to ride-hailing companies that Daiichi Kotsu Sangyo a cab company based in southern Fukuoka prefecture is in talks with Uber for a collaboration.

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