Sony launched the S.Ride app in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The app was officially launched by a company called Minna no Taxi, which translates to "Everybody's Taxi". Minna no Taxi is a joint venture between Sony Cor., Sony Payment Services and Japanese taxi companies.
The app is available to use from today and lets users flag down regular taxis; payment can be handled with cash, credit card, or through a QR code-powered digital wallet.
Unlike Uber and Lyft, this is a taxi-hailer, not an app to catch rides with civilians. Ride-hailing services are banned in Japan.
S.Ride's bigger competitor will be JapanTaxi, an app run by Ichiro Kawanabe, Nihon Kotsu CEO and chairman of Japan’s taxi federation. Uber is a tiny player in Japan and largely only offers premium black cars in Tokyo, though it’s starting to partner with taxi companies.
Sony has no current plans to launch the app outside of Japan.