You got a better idea on how taxis should work? New York City is all ears.
On Tuesday, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) put out a request for information on how it can improve its taxi technology.
The TLC, in conjunction with the Design Trust for Public Space, staged an elaborate display at the New York International Auto Show in 2007 of taxis with innovative ideas on sustainability and design. Now it seems that the TLC wants to ensure that the public is aware of its interest in tech beyond hybrids.
The city's contracts with service providers for its tech tools program--referred to as the Taxicab Passenger Enhancement Program, or T-PEP--expire in about two years. The TLC seems to be shopping for options on how "to enhance the technology systems in each taxicab for the benefit of passengers, drivers, and owners alike," according to the announcement.
The request, which closes June 15, has been made to the general public as well as taxicab and technology companies. Proposals and comments can be e-mailed to email@example.com, faxed to 212-676-1002, or mailed to NYC TLC, 40 Rector Street, 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10006.
The TLC said it's open to any ideas, but it listed key interests. Here are some of the more intriguing ideas:
- Cell phone-blocking technology (for drivers while engaged, but not passengers!)
- Wayfinding (knowing location, finding best routes)
- Multiple metered rate of fare and split-fare capabilities
- Radio frequency identification (RFID) readers or biometrics to ensure use by authorized drivers.
- Better, more informative receipts with driver information, easier-to-read/larger print, coupons, advertising, promotions, and receipts delivered electronically to an e-mail address.
- Driver debit card (income deposited directly into drivers' bank accounts) linked to benefits, i.e. discounts on car washes, fuel, restaurants, etc.
- Multiple languages
- Music and music video menu
- Internet or Wi-Fi capability (check e-mail, surf Web, shop, etc.)
- Real-time interactivity with TLC to facilitate surveys, complaints, compliments.