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Uber CEO sees commercialisation of air taxis soon

Uber CEO sees commercialisation of air taxis soon

Uber CEO sees commercialisation of air taxis soon

Khosrowshahi noted that Japan's traditional taxi firms have failed to keep up with the technological advances.

Hours later, Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi signaled his company's intention to expand further into the country.

Asked about SoftBank, which in January became Uber's biggest investor, Khosrowshahi said the Japanese telecoms and investment company is "simply the smartest money in the transportation space".

Sony adds the intention is for the AI system to be ready in the Spring of 2018, to provide an online based ride-hailing service with the firms mentioned, across Tokyo. Like it has in numerous markets where it now operates, Uber has faced opposition from local taxi groups in Morocco who claim that the ride-hailing company's operations undercuts their business.

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It is unclear as to why Sony suddenly wants to get into the taxi/transportation business, but it could be an interesting approach.

SoftBank is heavily present in the taxi market and recently took a 15-per cent stake in Uber. Uber says its business now serves more than 15 trillion trips per day, globally. Plus it has also been suggested that this model could potentially be applied to self-driving taxis in the future, where based on the algorithm they will know where are the "best" places to go based on demand.

"It is clear to me that we need to come in with partnership in mind and in particular partnership with the taxi industry", he said without providing specifics. But Uber saw four listless years in Japan, achieving less than 1 percent of monthly rides in Tokyo, the world's largest single cab market. Companies such as Uber are largely prevented from operating in the country due to Japan's "in-principle ban" on the use of privately owned vehicles for such services, Nikkei said. Several companies joined hands with the transport ministry in August to test a system that allows passengers to check how much a ride will cost in advance. Daiichi Koutsu has already announced plans to team with Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing company.

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