Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Taxis tracked on GPS

Taxis tracked on GPS

To increase convenience and security for people using taxi services in the metropolitan area, CAT Telecom has provided funds to King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang researchers to develop CAT Intelligent Vehicle Services or intelligent Taxi initiative (iTaxi).

Published on November 27, 2007

Visit Hirankitti, head of the intelligent communication and transport research laboratory at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, said iTaxi will provide taxi services for clients who have CDMA mobile phones and register as members. They will install the iTaxi application on their mobile phone.

Clients who want a taxi just use their mobile phone to call and inform the system centre of their destination. The system identifies the location of the caller and their destination, and also tracks nearby taxis. It then sends information about the taxi to the client's phone in real time before the taxi driver picks up the customer.

The system centre calls the taxi via a computer on the front console of the vehicle. The computer is bundled with global positioning system (GPS) which is able to track the location of the taxi. The system sends real-time information of the taxi's location to the system centre via CDMA. The display computer also provides information while driving on the way. As a result, it allows the control centre to track the taxi in real time from start to destination.

Visit said the iTaxi services are secure for clients and drivers since the system records information in the database. Meanwhile, drivers who feel something is wrong can send an emergency call to the system, which will record the information and inform police.

When clients step into the taxi, the computer in the taxi sends information to the system centre which sends a password to the client's relatives, who can track the journey via mobile phone or website using the password to access the information.

He said customers who do not use a CDMA phone could call a taxi through the call centre. "The iTaxi system will bring confidence to both clients and drivers while they are on the road. It will also save time since the system can track taxis which are near the calling point so drivers can pick up their customers on time," said Visit.

Jirapan Boonnoon

The Nation

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