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Japan orders Uber to suspend pilot programme that allegedly collected data on transport demand

Japan orders Uber to suspend pilot programme that allegedly collected data on transport demand

Uber launched a pilot programme with the aim of collecting data on transport demand to put passengers in touch with private car owners.

Tokyo: Japanese authorities have ordered ride-sharing app Uber to suspend its pilot programme, saying it violates the country's laws, media reported on Wednesday.

The San Francisco-based firm that uses an app to put passengers in touch with private car owners launched a pilot programme in early February in Fukuoka in southern Japan, in collaboration with a local university.

The project was started with the alleged aim of collecting data on transport demand, but the transport ministry called for the suspension of the programme saying it violates a law that prohibits unlicensed taxi services, Efe news agency reported.

It also expressed concern about potential problems that could arise from Uber's activities, such as the identification of legal responsibility and liability for compensation in traffic accidents.

The US company has said that it would try to resolve these issues in order to continue the pilot programme.

It also said that it would pay drivers' expenses incurred during the trial operation.

Uber, which started offering its services in San Francisco in 2010, is under investigation in several countries, including India.

South Korea, Spain and the Netherlands have already banned the service saying it provides unfair competition for professional taxi services, among other reasons.

first published:March 05, 2015, 10:47 IST