The idea of connected taxis has been somewhat realised in a way how Uber and Grab connect all of the cars through the smartphone application. Still relying on the smartphone alone may not necessarily work. Local players such as Katsana aim to bring better tracking to vehicles and have started to work with various private companies. In Japan, Toyota aims to connect taxis via a collaboration with KDDI Corporation and the Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association (THTA).
The tri-party has started verification testing to collect data to make connected taxis a reality. Data will be captured by the taxis and will be sent to the data centres with the aim to improve taxi-customer convenience as well as support taxi drivers as well. The area they are targeting will be the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Data is subjective so what is it that they are capturing? Firstly the vehicle data and secondly driving video which will be obtained through Toyota’s TransLog driving recorder installed in the taxis. These data will be transmitted through KDDI’s LTE network.
- Installing data-transmission TransLog drive recorders in 500 taxis in the Tokyo metropolitan area and real-time collecting of driving video and vehicle data
- Analyzing big data for enhancing the functions of the mobility services platform Toyota is establishing, for developing new services for taxi business operators and for developing next-generation taxis
- Providing SIM cards to be installed in data-transmission TransLog drive recorders and providing a high-quality 4G LTE network
- Confirming network quality in vehicle-data processing and conducting studies on the necessary requirements of next-generation networks
- Selecting 500 taxis to be used in the verification testing and coordinating with taxi business operators
Toyota and KDDI are promoting car connectivity. To maintain stable, high-quality data communications between vehicle onboard data communication devices and data clouds, they have partnered to establish a global communications platform. Meanwhile, THTA is pursuing various activities that will allow the provision of better services for taxi business operators and taxi users.
In the future, as well, Toyota, KDDI and THTA intend to actively conduct other verification testing and technological development toward the development of next-generation taxis and new services.