Business / Corporate

DeNA to test taxi dispatch app using AI in Yokohama

JIJI

Mobile game giant DeNA Co. will start a trial of its taxi dispatch application utilizing artificial intelligence in Yokohama.

The system will analyze data collected from taxis in use and information on when and where customers hailed taxis in the past. The AI will then forecast demand to enable taxi drivers to find customers more easily.

The trial will be held until the end of October. DeNA hopes to introduce the app for practical use as early as January.

The company will cooperate with the Yokohama Municipal Government and the Kanagawa Taxi Association to conduct the test in parts of the city. Some 200 taxis will take part, according to the Tokyo-based firm.

The app “will help optimize taxi allocations,” association executive Kaichiro Fujii said. The app will make it easier even for rookie drivers to find people looking for taxis, he added.

The app will also help people who need a taxi to find a free vehicle. When a user picks a location for boarding, the app will examine traffic jams and other factors and choose the taxi thought to take the user to the desired destination most quickly.

DeNA aims to carry out the trial in other regions, based on the experiment in Yokohama.

The company is promoting business that combines automobiles and information technology. DeNA is developing driverless vehicles with Nissan Motor Co. and Yamato Transport Co., a unit of Yamato Holdings Co.