ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Technology

Japan cabdrivers get tips on where they're needed from AI

Real-world data helps Docomo's system forecast demand 30 minutes out

A driver checks a tablet for where demand for his services will likely be strong.

TOKYO -- NTT Docomo has conducted successful field trials of a taxi dispatch system that uses artificial intelligence to predict demand for rides, the company announced Friday.

Taxi companies could dispatch cars more efficiently, give their drivers more business, and make customers wait less.

The Japanese wireless carrier worked with a leading taxi company to train the AI, teaching it how to predict the size and location of demand based on actual ridership data from 4,425 cabs, coupled with information about such factors as weather, and data about people's movements based on the locations of their mobile phones.

The AI ultimately learned to predict localized taxi usage demand 30 minutes out for squares 500 meters on a side in a grid. It can forecast demand for rides with 20% or less error more than 90% of the time, according to Docomo.

For the field trials, 12 drivers used tablets updated every 10 minutes with ridership predictions to decide where to go to find waiting customers. Daily business rose 20% thanks to the information, a participant said.

Docomo said it is thinking to commercialize the technology as early as the second half of fiscal 2017.

This is an example of how AI is starting to find applications in everyday life, beyond specialized areas like drug discovery.

Another is a system that can predict how late trains will come after accidents occur. Fujitsu plans to market it starting in the first half of fiscal 2017 to providers of transportation information services.

(Nikkei)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media