Sony Corp looks set to 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-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.
Sony and Daiwa Motor declined to comment.
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.
© Thomson Reuters 2018