It always happens whether you’re out late at night, you need to get somewhere for a business meeting or just in a rush to get somewhere on time – you just can’t seem to find a black cab to hail down, even though there are around 25,000 of them in London. It’s a problem most Londoners have faced. However, do not fear, a solution may have arrived.
Last week, the LDNtaxi iPhone application was launched by cabbies, which lets you hail a taxi electronically from your mobile phone.
The app automatically calculates your position when you hail a cab and inputs your destination. Drivers are then alerted about the nearby customers and whoever accepts the fare first sees the customer’s picture and their location. The passenger is alerted and the picture makes sure that the driver picks up the right person.
Warren Cresdee, who has been a cab driver for 35 years, said “We wanted to bring black cabs up to date. We think it’s both safer and easier for drivers and passengers, and also helps us get rid of our down time”.
Cresdee continued, “Cabbies have been really impressed with the potential for this, and we hope that thousands will sign up. The reaction so far has been incredible”.
Since the app was launched, three hundred cabbies have already signed up to the service. Each driver has an iPhone in their cab and uploads a picture of themselves, which is shown to customers when they book.
At the moment the iPhone app is free, however Cresdee said the firm may start charging in the future.
Addison Lee, another taxi firm has also recently announced its iPhone app which now makes up more than 10% of all their bookings.
There is stiff competition as the minicab industry has also entered the market, with Kabbee and Cabubble.co.uk, who are both backed up by minicab insurance providers, have also been launched.
The increased interest of this industry and innovation of technology will, hopefully make it easier for passengers to find a cab when they most need one.