How GPS Helps The Cab Get There Faster

from the get-there-before-I-hang-up dept

An article from SF Gate about how successful Luxor Cab Company in San Francisco has been with installing a GPS system to help dispatch cabs to pickup locations at a faster rate. Apparently, it's cut the time from call to pickup down nearly by 50%. It's also made the company more reliable about actually picking up people and finding the best route. Not surprisingly, other cab companies are quickly following with plans of thier own to add GPS systems.

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  • identicon
    D Henkel-Wallace, 22 Jan 2002 @ 5:56pm

    Big deal

    So what? Taxis in Paris have had this for years. Surely other cities too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wklink (profile), 23 Jan 2002 @ 5:36am

    Should have patented it...

    If this were an internet venture, they would have patented their "business method" and locked out the competition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2002 @ 7:08am

    My perfect example of a geolocation service desperately waiting to
    happen involved cab/taxi service in Australia. As you may or may not
    know, cab service involves an autodispatch service to which almost
    every cab subscribes (priced at ~AU$500/month). For this, the cab
    drivers are automatically fed fare data from those fares who have
    taken the time to call the phone number. GPS information is fed from
    the cab to the dispatch service. My dilemma usually involved needing a
    specialized cab, not knowing where a good spot was to hale cabs from,
    not having a phone or not wanting to call the fscking dispatch service
    (usually busy *and* nosy). I would have killed for a simple web page
    (WAP) to which I could have surfed that shows *exactly* where the cab
    meeting my specifications was waiting for a fare. It would have been
    so extremely simple for the dispatch service to add to their menu of
    services (allowing them to split revenue with the carrier). Alas,
    cab service in Australia is it's own little legal mafia and extremely
    adverse to change. Indeed, after talking with cabbies, I learned
    that all the new guys like the autodispatch service (it kept
    expectations to a minimum and allowed them to be "lazy"); the old
    cabbies were generally resentful and thought that the autodisptach
    services limited their ability to use their "knowledge" to achieve
    above average performance (the new guys referred to this a "cheating"
    due to the fact that under voice disptach, older cabbies would
    often lie about their location to pick up a fare before the new
    guys even though the new guy was "closer" (by position, not by
    time to find the fare)). A very few of the independent (owning
    their own cabbie regos) had both voice and automated dispatch...
    which brings up yet another facet of .au cab operations; most of
    the cabs are owned by large conglomerates and the drivers are
    merely keeping the front seat warm 24/7 (hence the need to keep
    the cab fleets staffed with the low paid young and dumb recent
    imports with few employment prospects).

    ...anyway, that's probably more than you wanted to know.

    I guess the point is that information services shouldn't necessarily
    try to change the way things are traditionally done (like haling a
    cab, or even driving one for that matter)... and this is particularly
    likely to be true with respect to how we manage our daily life in the
    geographical confines of meat space.

    BTW, I just saw an interesting BSTV piece on job location services
    for freeters. All the services featured show the freeters hanging
    out in dingy waiting rooms at 5:30am waiting for jobs and getting
    their pay handed over in cash after inconning the paperwork. The
    staff at the placement agency seemed to outnumber those getting
    placed... odd that. Also detailed was the ability for the placement
    agency to "grade up" (prefect for the video game generation now
    just beginning to reach the age of employability) or exit the freeter
    from their service in a seemingly graceful manner. Hey, maybe this
    will provide JIT payroll *and* eliminate middle level management!
    I particularly like the fact that the age of the "fitter" was about
    the same as the "freeter" (that's gota' require some cultural

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      tod, 23 Jan 2002 @ 7:21am

      old news

      The SF taxi market is so backwards that only there would this be news, Mike! In Chicago, we've had GPS-based dispatching since 1993, and as another poster pointed out, other cities have had same for years.

      I would love to see a cabs-per-capita index of major US cities, just to see if any city could be worse than SF...


      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        InChicago, 23 Jan 2002 @ 8:58am

        Re: old news

        We may have GPS-dispatching here in Chicago, but they sure don't use it to find the best route once we're in the cab.
        Why is it that they almost always end up on Michigan Ave, no matter where you want to go :-)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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