GPS Touchscreens and Streaming Video Invade NYC Taxis
Running perpetually late, I hopped a cab to work this morning and
was instantly mesmerized by this glowing, talking, foreign object in
front of me. (Sorry for the crap phonecam pics. here is a video I shot as well)
Well, not SO foreign. The LCD touchscreen showed my current position on
a map of NYC (stuck in gridlock at 34th and 6th Avenue) with cute
little blue dots denoting my progress.
This held my attention for about 10 seconds (probably just long enough
for the NBC.com advertisement to subliminally give me the urge to watch
Heroes) and after pawing the screen I was presented with news, weather,
and sports videos. Sweet! After reaching my destination at 41st and
Park Ave, my fare appeared on the screen; I swiped my debit card right
there and was on my way. A little Googling gave me this overlooked news
bit from December:
From the AP Wire:
NEW YORK - New
York’s next generation of cabs is coming - complete with TV. The new
features - designed to help riders pass the time, pay the fare and even
find their lost umbrellas - are expected to start hitting the streets
within two weeks.
The city Taxi & Limousine Commission gave a preview Thursday,
showing off a touch-screen device that lets passengers check news and
weather reports, look up restaurant reviews and track their cab’s
progress on an electronic map.
The tracking feature also promises to make it easier for riders to
retrieve things they leave behind. Rather than racking their minds for
a medallion number, riders will be able to call a city information line
and say where they were dropped off and what was lost. The taxi
commission will work from that to try to find the cab.
The new features also include a credit-card reader, a significant
addition for the largely cash-only taxi system. Riders can even
calculate a tip.
Any of you readers been in one of these new NYC cabs yet? Or maybe something better in another city!?