The GetTaxi app may soon allow users with a smartphone to hail and pay for a cab in New York City from the convenience of their phone–not that they couldn’t just call the cab in the first place.
Bowery Boogie reports that GetTaxi is currently working with the Taxi & Limousine Commission to install technology receivers in all of their cabs. They report that:
“GetTaxi will not have its own fleet of drivers, but rather it will complement the service of existing taxi fleets. When a driver signs on to the platform, GetTaxi trains them in the product and in customer service. Customer service lines will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Herman believes all of this will revolutionize the New York City taxi experience if her company is approved by the TLC.”
Also, the app manufacturer must pass certain blocks in order to be available for New York City’s yellow taxis. Bowery Boogie explains:
“GetTaxi won’t immediately be available for New York City’s yellow taxis, which are legally prohibited from taking a booking through a radio device. Herman, however, is confident she’ll be able to persuade the relevant parties that what she called “digital dispatch” is superior to the on-the-ground hail.”
GetTaxi is not the only app vying for a spot in the New York City taxi world, as Taxi Magic and London-based Hailo are also competing for the contract, according to ABC News. Hailo CEO Jay Bregman stated that:
“This [solicitation to mobile companies] is a huge signal that the city is ready for this type of technology. But at the same time, you have to select a single supplier. That may not be the best way of accomplishing the objectives to provide a service to the city of New York.”
If they are able to negotiate all deals, then New York City smartphone users will be one step closer to avoiding human interaction.