Natalie Parkinson
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Toyota has created a task force with a Japanese taxi group for innovation

Toyota announced that it will launch a task force along with the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations to collaborate on the development of future taxicab technologies.

This announcement follows criticism from the taxi association in the wake of Toyota’s investment in Uber earlier this year.

The task force will focus on, among other aims, gathering and analyzing data from existing and forthcoming fleet vehicles that can be utilized in the development of autonomous cars.Toyota is developing autonomous driving technologies for their future vehicles. The Toyota Research Institute, which is leading much of this development, is utilizing human driver behavior in order to program self-driving cars. The introduction of data from over 200,000 Japanese taxis will aid this endeavor.

Toyota will also work with the taxi association to develop and introduce vehicles that make use of these automated driving technologies. The Japanese federation will be introducing a new generation of taxi models manufactured by Toyota. The taxi association has fought efforts by Uber to expand into the Japanese market, and, by partnering with Toyota, will seek to match the American ride-hailing company’s move to develop self-driving car technology.

Taxis are just one application for self-driving cars, which will face several struggles and hurdles before they reach mass adoption.

How likely are you to consider using a shares self-driving taxi?