A new ride-hailing service called S.Ride has launched in Tokyo as electronics giant Sony delivers on a promise to deliver an Uber-like experience in the Japanese capital, TechCrunch reports.
Ride-sharing with private cars is illegal in Japan, so Sony is working with five licensed taxi companies for S.Ride. The service will draw on 10,000 cabs, compared to rival JapanTaxi, which can deliver rides from a fleet of 50,000 affiliated cabs.
Uber is also active in Japan, partnering with other taxi companies, along with several other app-based ride-hailing services.
Sony has no current plans to expand S.Ride outside of Japan. The service is seen as part of the company’s announced intention to move away from manufacturing electronics hardware and towards providing services and content, CNET reports.
S.Ride is built around artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that predict demand for rides and dispatch cabs. It will be operated through Minna no Taxi, or “Everybody’s Taxi,” a joint venture between Sony Corporation, Sony Payment Services, and Japanese taxi companies.