Business / Corporate

Toyota takes on Uber with ¥7.5 billion investment in Japanese taxi-hailing app

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will invest ¥7.5 billion in the developer of a taxi-hailing app to jointly create services that help cab drivers pick up customers more efficiently using artificial intelligence.

The automaker will acquire shares to be newly issued by JapanTaxi Co. through a third-party allocation later this month. The tech company is a subsidiary of major taxi operator Nihon Kotsu Co.

The companies said they will also collaborate in developing dashcams and tablets for taxis.

About 4 million users have downloaded the taxi-dispatch app since it was launched in 2011, with roughly 60,000 cabs across the country — or about a fourth of the operating total — registered with the service, according to JapanTaxi.