NTT DoCoMo announced that it will offer a cloud-based call-center and taxi-dispatch system that regional taxi operators in Japan can use jointly for streamlined operations, greater efficiency and reduced costs.
To facilitate the initiative, DoCoMo’s wholly owned subsidiary NTT DoCoMo Ventures has taken an equity stake in Denno Kotsu, the developer of a cloud-based unified-operations model for taxi companies.
DoCoMo expects the service to help strengthen transportation options in regional areas of Japan, where the senior citizen population is increasing at a time when working populations are declining. The efficiency of regional taxi services has become an issue as municipalities look to provide transportation for people unable to drive cars, particularly the elderly, as well as ensure the continuing availability of multiple transportation options for the general public.
Established in 2015, Denno Kotsu is a venture company based in Tokushima Prefecture that has developed a cloud-based call/dispatch system that collectively manages the vehicles of multiple taxi operators, enabling centralized operators to handle dispatches for multiple companies.
DoCoMo will field test the new service in regional municipalities for the rest of 2018, and eventually expects to develop the solution for use nationwide.
Earlier this year, Toyota and JapanTaxi jointly developed a taxi dispatch support system with KDDI and Accenture that uses AI to predict demand for taxi services.