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Japan's Sony to form alliance to build taxi-hailing system: Nikkei

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Sony Corp looks set to become the latest bluechip firm to jockey for position in Japan's taxi and ride-hailing market, with plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence-based hailing system, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

[TOKYO] Sony Corp looks set to become the latest bluechip firm to jockey for position in Japan's taxi and ride-hailing market, with plans for a joint venture to develop an artificial intelligence-based hailing system, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

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 four other domestic taxi firms, the Nikkei said.

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Sony and Daiwa Motor declined to comment.

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 and is expected to meet with regulators.

REUTERS

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