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Toyota, JapanTaxi agree to consider joint development of taxi services

With an aim to revitalize Japan’s taxi industry and improve its efficiencies, Toyota Motor Corporation and taxi dispatch app company JapanTaxi Co., Ltd. have concluded a basic agreement on considering, among other activities, the joint development of services for taxi operators. They also agreed that, to strengthen ties between the two companies, Toyota will invest ¥7.5 billion (US$68.6 million) in JapanTaxi and subscribe for and acquire shares to be newly issued by JapanTaxi though a third-party allocation.

Toyota has been exploring ways to revitalize and improve the efficiencies of Japan’s overall taxi industry through R&D and the development of services. Activities have included Toyota’s concluding a memorandum of understanding with the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations on 5 August 2016 to study areas for collaboration, leading to such activities as the start of verification testing on data collection using Toyota data-transmission driving recorders in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

JapanTaxi developed a nationwide taxi-dispatch app for smartphones and tablets, which it has been making available since 2011.

To date, the app has accumulative downloads of approximately 4 million, and approximately 60,000 taxis—about one-fourth of all taxis in Japan—are registered with the service provided by the app, giving the app the top share among taxi-dispatch apps in Japan.

The two companies intend to further strengthen coordination between Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform, which is currently being constructed as a comprehensive platform for such functions as mobility management, use and analysis, and JapanTaxi’s integrated software-hardware platform for enhancing the overall taxi-user experience and advancing the digitalization of taxi operators.

Specifically, Toyota and JapanTaxi plan to consider cooperation and business collaboration in such areas as connected terminals for taxis, the joint development of vehicle-dispatch support systems, and big-data collection.

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