Your typically hectic Manhattan cab ride may get a lot more automated with the introduction of the eTaxi interactive system from TaxiTech. The New Jersey-based advertising/payment-system/ground transportation company just got permission from New York City to offer its touchscreen infotainment and payment system to the city’s 13,000 cabs. Based on early indications from tests on 50 cabs, it looks like the technology should add a positive new dimension to the 20-30 minute ride you’d expect on an average trip around Midtown.
So what would drivers and passengers get in an eTaxi-equipped cab? First off, drivers can text message each other without needing a phone. The uniform console should improve safety, increase cooperation among drivers, and make it easier to locate and return any lost items. On the passenger side, you’ll get the latest news and information on eTaxi’s touchscreen unit. Best of all, the system enables you to pay your fare by credit card, saving you the half minute or so it takes to leaf through your wallet.
As for the future, look for eTaxi to eventually enable consumers to buy movie tickets and even make reservations at a restaurant or hotel directly from their cab. eTaxi represents the latest example of the market bringing the outside world to consumers as they travel. TaxiTech officially started its NYC promotion on June 12, so look for the technology to hit a cab near you in the near future.
– posted by Taeho Lim