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Sony plans to build the AI-based hailing platform with Daiwa Motor Transportation and four other domestic taxi firms, the Nikkei said.

The technology would use AI to predict demand for taxis and allow companies to more efficiently mobilise their resources. Sony says it intends to introduce different packages to suit the different needs of each platform.

Daiichi Koutsu said it is hoping the expansion of Uber's service in Japan will help the country address the rising number of unlicensed taxis in big cities.

During his first stop in Japan, he said he's willing to forge partnerships with taxi companies in order to succeed, even though Uber has less than a 1-percent market share and only offers limited services there.

The intelligent ride hailing service is due to launch in the spring, the report adds, but it is not clear if Japan is being used as a test market before launching a similar service in the US or elsewhere in the world. Toyota Motor Corp. has teamed up with Nihon Kotsu Co.

Flying taxis may sound like something from 90's sci-fi hit The Fifth Element, but that'll be the reality in 5-10 years if Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has his way. The Sony Payment Service involvement will be to provide payment services for the new system.

Last month Rajeev Misra, a SoftBank executive joining Uber's board, suggested in an interview with the Financial Times that Uber focus on core markets such as the US, Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo said Monday it plans to link up with Uber to provide its app users rides in major Japanese cities with global airports, including Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, as well as Okinawa. Khosrowshahi pushed back against that notion in an interview he gave at Davos, saying the company would be "leaning forward" to expand.

Japanese companies have been aiming to roll out ride-hailing services amid a global battle to control the technology increasingly central to urban transport, the latest being a venture between China's Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group Corp.