When I climb into the back of a taxi, I expect the driver to have some basic idea of how to get to any place I want to go, provided it’s not someone’s personal residence or a really obscure location. So, to see a driver dive for their maps or GPS can be a bit off-putting. It’s not nice to feel as though your driver isn’t sure of where they’re going.
In Shanghai, however, map technology is being implemented at a whole new level, operating with extreme efficiency and convenience. It’s quite literally the next generation of high tech taxis.
As you can see in the picture below, this taxi driver in Shanghai makes free use of a large number of different gadgets, including smart phones and a tablet PC. This is more than an expensive cheat sheet for a lay of the land; the driver uses these tools to avoid construction, to check for traffic, and ultimately find the quickest and most direct route to wherever it is that the customer wants to go. Even better, there’s Wi-Fi available inside the cab for passengers to use along their trip.
With so many special services, you’d expect a taxi like this to cost a good deal more than your average cab, but compared to Japan’s average fare , it was downright cheap! It’s a wonder how the funds balance out when the company charges so little but offers so much. The initial purchase of all those electronics and the monthly fees for Internet and necessary applications must really build up. However, when questioned on the matter, the driver said not to worry and that their desire is simply to give customers the best experience possible.
Could this be the next generation of taxis? I’m certainly down with it, provided the driver isn’t using Apple Maps.
Source: tt.mop via Byoukan Sunday
Top image: HDW