Despite cries of privacy invasion from the city’s many drivers, interactive entertainment / advertising / navigation platforms are still being rolled out in New York’s 13,000+ cabs, with major player TaxiTech’s eTaxi solution the latest to receive approval from the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. One of four companies certified by the TLC to fill a mandate requiring these rigs in all cabs by October, TaxiTech has teamed up with hardware partners Apriva, Ingenico, and Grey Island Systems to offer a very polished looking setup centered around a 15-inch touchscreen capable of delivering a whole slew of valuable infoswag. (Click here to check out a video of the eTaxi interface). Like Digital Dispatch’s SmartCab system before it, eTaxi gives passengers the ability to track their route in real time (no more pricey “shortcuts” for unsuspecting tourists), kick back to some ad-supported video or music content, bone up on historical info about the city, and even pay their fare with a credit card, tacking on a pre-calculated tip with the push of a finger. Sounds pretty convenient to us; let’s just hope we don’t have to start eating part of the multi-thousand dollar per car annual fee it’s costing cab companies to install these luxuries.
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