Uber's SE Asia uncertainty. Denso cybersecurity deal. AV thermal cameras.
From an outsider’s perspective, Japan’s famously robust public transportation often overshadows its extensive road network, the world’s sixth-largest (though its automotive brands are obviously global giants).
Those roadways will see an intensifying battle as both domestic and foreign Japan’s taxi market:
Toyota invested ~$69M into taxi-hailing app JapanTaxi
Sony partnered with five taxi operators to build an AI-driven dispatch system
Nissan and DeNA began field tests of a self-driving taxi service
Didi Chuxing partnered with investor SoftBank to launch a joint taxi-hailing venture
Uber‘s CEO announced a renewed focus on Japan, targeting partnerships with taxi operators (Uber’s Tokyo market share stands at <1%)
These new players will compete against Line Taxi in a Japanese market with powerful incumbents (peer-to-peer services are still outlawed). As with other ride-hailing markets, there are overlapping interests at play; Toyota backed Uber in 2016, and SoftBank is now a major shareholder in both Didi and Uber.
On SoftBank, my colleague Matt Wong (@mlcwong) spotted this slide in its last investor briefing, which may point towards more joint ventures with its portfolio companies: