Taxis are easy to find in densely populated cities such as New York, Hong Kong, or Singapore. But in relatively smaller Canadian cities such as Vancouver, finding a cab downtown or anywhere else can be troublesome. Not only that, a similar problem exists for cabbies trying to find passengers. What’s the solution? Use the iPhone to help cabbies and passengers find each other via GPS, in an incredibly simple and elegant manner. Welcome to TaxiNow, the creation of a Vancouver-based startup. When their Co-Founder, Jamie Sutherland contacted us for a review, I knew their idea was a good one the moment I read their overview.
Here’s the iTunes description:
-Now you can phone your individual driver as heâ€™s coming or after heâ€™s arrived (eg. in case you have trouble finding him in a crowd)
-Passengers can request a taxi from web site (www.taxinow.ca)
-Mobile and iPad optimized version of our website
-Passengers can now request a taxi with an sms message
-Push notifications for taxi requests: you donâ€™t have to keep the app open to receive passenger requests
-Regional Driver settings allow you to decide where they receive passenger requests
-Time Preference settings allow you to select when they receive passenger requests
– If you get a phone call, or text message, you can exit TaxiNow, and then a few minutes later return back to the app and continue where you left off
– Passengers can now phone the driver directly from inside the app
-Faster load times
-Far less bandwidth required – TaxiNow will be use-able by any driver, even with a very small data plan
TaxiNow works by having both passengers and taxi drivers use the app. Within the app itself you will see your location on the map plus live taxi icons that represent cabbies on the move. It’s actually really cool to see taxis scattered across the city. To ‘hail’ a cab, just request a taxi from the TaxiNow iPhone app, via their website, or SMS.
When requesting a cab from within the TaxiNow app, you can leave a note for the cabbie, and verify your location on the map. Once received, the cabbie will know where you are and come right away to pick you up. You can actually see them arrive in real time.
Also, within the app you can find a list of cab companies and even call your cabbie. I didn’t go as far as making a pick up request for the sake of not wasting a cabbie’s precious time, but the app itself is very simple and elegant. It’s just too darn easy to use. Kudos to the TaxiNow team for doing it right.
TaxiNow is one of those social services such as Trapster that requires a community in order to succeed. That’s not a problem, because the idea of hailing a cab on your iPhone is ingenious. Cabbies with iPhones can utilize technology to find fares easily anytime, and any place. Keep an eye out for TaxiNow to come to your city. This really is the future of finding a taxi.
Video demo below:
Look! It’s Kevin Falcon with the TaxiNow app:
You can download TaxiNow for free here.
Have you used TaxiNow as either a cabbie or passenger? Let us know below!