The China-based mobility technology magnate DiDi Chuxing has reportedly announced a partnership with SoftBank Corp. in a bid to launching trial services for its ride-hailing service this fall. The two parties seem to have already set up a joint venture called DiDi Mobility Japan last month in order to improve the quality of service and efficiency of taxi services.
Incidentally, Japan already has many ride hailing services but with DiDi’s client base of more than 550 million, the competition bar is expected to rise several notches higher. Stephen Zhu, head, DiDi Mobility Japan, apparently claimed that this venture will add a significant value to the taxi market in the country, given that it leverages DiDi’s technological abilities and SoftBank’s strong presence in Japan.
Artificial intelligence & other technologies can help improve safety & efficiency in the taxi industry in Japan, that is currently plagued with issues such as aging drivers, shortage of cabbies, and spiked demands due to tourism, claims a statement released by the both the companies.
DiDi will reportedly be providing a management console to taxi companies to improve their service while helping them monitor their dispatches and analyze driver evaluations given by the customers. Incidentally, customers can also order cabs and pay with their credit cards once they install a hailing app. China’s DiDi app could also be used in Japan while giving customers an option to pay using Alipay or WeChat.
The trials for this project are expected to commence in the city of Osaka city and expand to Kyoto, Fukuoka, Okinawa and Tokyo.
For the record, SoftBank boasts of investments in different ride hailing companies around the world. In January, the company acquired a 15% stake in Uber and also poured in around $5.1 billion (approx. YEN 560 billion) through one of its funds in 2017.
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