Launching a taxi-hailing app in Tokyo: How Sony does it with S.Ride?


    Uber, as we know, operates only in 650 cities and remains the best among all taxi apps. But have you ever imagined about other cities and their demand for taxi applications? If you did, you would have certainly come across a few regional apps like Ola, Didi Chuxing, Japan Taxi, etc. These apps are focused on fulfilling the demands of locals; and in that way, they have succeeded and generated revenue tremendously. If you search for the reason behind the success of these apps, it inevitably ends up in the kind of service it provides its customers. So, it all depends on how well you bestow your service (whether you focus regionally or globally).

    “S.Ride” — Sony’s new ride-hailing application

    Recently, the world’s largest electronics producer, Sony, marked its foot in the taxi-hailing industry with the inception of a new taxi application called “S.Ride.” The app was officially launched by the company called Minna no Taxi meaning “Everybody’s Taxi,” and it has joint ventures with the Sony Corporation, its payment services, and various Japanese taxi companies. In its very first ad promotion, it described its app name’s first letter “S” as“simple, smart, and speedy,” expressing its core characteristics.

    Sony brought this S.Ride app into force this year to compete with Uber services in Tokyo as reported last year. This service is a bit different in Japan compared to other countries where popular services like Uber is supreme. Since this service is a taxi-hailer, it doesn’t help to catch rides with civilians. Moreover, it is illegal in Japan to ride-hail with private cars, so this service came up with a joint venture with almost six licensed taxi companies, including Daiwa and Kokusai.

    To predict demands and to dispatch accordingly, Sony plans to use AI and allows its riders to make use of QR codes to complete the payment process. Besides, it also supports the Uber-like cashless credit card style to make payments. Comprising all these trailblazing features, it is now readily available to download and use. But unfortunately, one of Sony’s spokespeople announced that the service will currently operate only in Japan, and there are no steps taken to expand the service to any other locations.

    Therefore, services like Lyft, Uber are trying to venture with licensed taxi companies to make their business standard in Japan. However, Uber still operates legally in Japan but only with a small share in the market by providing premium black cars.

    Launching a taxi app like S.Ride using a ready-made solution

    Thus, this can be the right opportunity for newbies to launch a taxi app business in Tokyo as well as in other locations in Japan. All you have to do is to analyze the strategy of competitors, including S.Ride, to create an app that remains the best among the customers. Develop the app from scratch with the help of app development companies. You can also choose a ready-made solution like white-label Uber like app from a developing partner to develop your new app, but remember to venture with licensed taxi companies.

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