Jon freach taxicab_tech


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A light study of the technologies typically used in North American taxi cabs.

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Jon freach taxicab_tech

  1. 1. Taxi Cab Tech Jon Freach © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary
  2. 2. The Current State The taxi cab is a cockpit full of redundant technologies. The Garmin and radio handset do two of the things that the smartphone does with a touch more usability. Credit card machines capture passenger data both electronically and in analog form. And the fare display serves as just another screen that occupies the dashboard and fights for the driver ’ s and passenger’s attention. Add to this each driver ’ s own cache of personal items, papers, receipts, and chotchkes and your looking at an anxious mess instead of a picture of navigational confidence. Over the last five years the functionalities of one-off devices have been subsumed by smartphones and more recently, tablets. The inside of North American cabs has started to resemble technology graveyards. Will the next generation of tablet computers and other mobile consumer products enable the taxi driver to steward the ship, maintain communications, and make a buck in a less cluttered, more efficient, and more profitable way? © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary
  3. 3. 3 Four devices plus a smartphone form the modern taxi cab dashboard. The Verifone card reader also includes fares and navigation. © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary
  4. 4. 5 In addition to a Garmin, this driver in San Francisco carries an Android phone with Google Maps, GPS, and spoken directions © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary
  5. 5. 6 Despite offering credit card payments most drivers prefer cash because of the speed of the exchange (online transactions cost them time and money) © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary
  6. 6. 7 Verifone multimedia payment systems seem to offer the most relevant and useful functionalities for a driver and a passenger, but most of them aren’t used © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary
  7. 7. 8 © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary This driver in Austin carries a briefcase full of business and personal items everyday because he never knows which cab he’ll be driving
  8. 8. 9 © 2011 jon freach confidential & proprietary In addition to my receipt, I got a handy flashlight — a nicer touch than the usual hurried rush out so he could get on with business
  9. 9. Jon Freach is a design research director at frog [email_address] 512 297 8373