Sony is planning a joint venture designed to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based taxi service for Japan.
The website adnet.com report that Sony and six local taxi companies — Green Cab, International Automobile, Kusumi Transportation, Daiwa Motor Transportation, Checker Cab Radio Cooperative Association, and Hinomaru Transportation — will form the new business venture in coming months.
It says the new company will develop and operate “dispatch service applications” that will utilise Sony’s AI technologies for demand forecasts and similar services.
Sony says that the six companies together control over 10,000 taxis across Tokyo and beyond, and by integrating AI, customer service will be improved by “prepar[ing] the necessary number of taxis when necessary.”
AI forecasts of taxi and ride-sharing demands, for example, could be used to increase availability in peak times, while reducing the number on the road when demand is expected to be low.
The report explains that while this kind of information and predictions can already be achieved by simple data and number crunching, AI could enhance these forecasts and therefore increase efficiency, while reducing the operational cost of the venture.