Innovation and improvement have been part of our world as long as we know it. From the industrial revolution to this technological age, one thing that we’ve strived for is ease and comfort. Through constant improvements in whatever we do, we have pretty much achieved that.
Transportation is also a part of that struggle. We’ve come a long way from riding on horseback to now riding in automatic cars. The road to improvements doesn’t just end here.
There are various means of transportation but not everyone can buy their own luxury car or their own motorcycle so they use public transport to commute. In recent years, we’ve seen how inconvenient public transport can be for some people.
To combat this problem, we now have ridesharing services such as Uber and other local service providers. It is quick, efficient and safe, that’s why most people prefer to travel through these services.
But the question is why Sony launching a taxi-hailing service in Japan is such a big deal?
The answer is elaborated below…
Japan as an investment prospect:
Japan is a big country with endless opportunities for investments. It has always been a Western ally but it still isn’t that successful in bilateral trade agreements. The government is looking to increase their economic status.
Recently, the Japanese Government’s openness to facilitate investments and new business prospects in their country has made investors eager to come forward with their ideas.
Japan & Taxi-hailing Services:
In almost every country, services like Uber has been a popular source of income for struggling youth and several part-timers. You don’t need to buy a car or get a taxi license to work as an Uber driver. All you need to be able to do is be a good and skilled driver. There are people who let you use their cars to work as an Uber driver and apart from this, there are several other means to get your self employed in such services.
But in Japan, you can not use a personal car for such jobs. Moreover, you also need to be a licensed taxi driver to offer transportation of such type. This restriction has discouraged any car hiring services to stem locally. Furthermore, this unusual transportation situation has given Uber a tough time to flourish as a taxi hiring service in Japan.
Sony stepping up in Japan!
Sony has always regarded Japan as the country that can return their invested money tenfold, and now they have partnered with five local taxi companies to launch a taxi-hailing service in Japan.
Sony didn’t think of this idea overnight. They’ve been working on it for a while now and they intend to make their taxi-hailing services the most efficient one in Japan, capable of competing with local Taxi companies.
More about Sony’s Taxi-hailing service:
Last year, Sony Corp, Sony Payment Services established Minna no Taxi Corporation that means Everybody’s Taxi and from May 15, Minna no Taxi’s app S.Ride became operational in Japan.
How did Sony make it happen?
A taxi-hailing service launching in Japan is hard to digest due to the country’s unusual laws related to traffic and transport. But as we’ve mentioned before, Sony has thought this through for quite some time before venturing into this unfamiliar territory. Their collaboration with five local taxi companies means that Sony will be able to have 10,000 cars at their disposal. This collaboration also includes Daiwa and Kokusai, which are two of the biggest Taxi companies in Japan right now.
Sony’s S.Ride App:
After reading the name of this app, you might be thinking that the S in the app’s name represents Sony but it doesn’t. The in S.Ride stands for “Simple, Smart and Speedy” and it can be considered Sony’s motto for this app.
How does it work?
Technology has truly shrunk the world and made our life comfortable. Business owners, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs use technology to refine their ideas, to improve their sales and eventually raise their profits.
In S.Ride, Sony has used AI technology as well as a sliding gesture as a base for its UI. According to Sony, with the help of AI Technology, they are able to predict the number of taxis needed in a particular area judging by the customers’ demands. Once they know the demand, they can dispatch cars according to it in that area.
How do you pay?
We live in a world where people prefer to use plastic cash and everything is automatic. So, there is no surprise that Sony has made its payment method convenient and in line with the latest trends.
You can either pay through your credit card or via S.Ride’s Digital Wallet. For the credit card option, you’ll have to provide your credit card information when you set up your account and then just choose the method of payment whenever you get off of a taxi. Don’t worry, S Ride is completely safe and your credit card won’t be used for anything else.
S.Ride’s Digital Wallet is pretty easy to use too. You just have to deposit the money in it and whenever you use the service, just scan the ride’s code and you will be able to pay without any trouble. Aside from this, you can also pay in cash.
Though, we’ve said that there is not much competition for Sony but the little competition they have, can give them a hard time. Their biggest competitor is an app named Japan Taxi, which is owned by Ichiro Kawanabe. He is the CEO of Nihon Kotsu and chairman of Japan’s Taxi Federation. They claim to have 50,000 taxis around Japan in their service.
Around the world, Uber is a pretty known name for its services but in Japan, Uber has failed to join the big league until now. They offer limited services such as premium black cars only and don’t have many cars under their control, though they are reaching to collaborate with local taxi companies to expand.