For the first time tpday I was able to ride a cab with the system installed into the vehicle, though calling it a system might be the wrong terminology since it is simply an app that is utilizing GPS data from multiple similarly equipped taxis and a web based queuing system.
Here is how it appears to work: First, several cabs are outfitted with smartphones bearing 3G and GPS technologies, along with a SIM on an unlimited data plan… An app is installed that when kept on transmits locational data in real time that can be viewed and monitored by interested parties using the system. A would be passenger then accesses the same app and for an additional fee of 70php would be able to summon the nearest available equipped cab to his/her location.
When the order is placed, cabs within the area with their GrabTaxi apps open would get a notification for service and the first one to hit YES would be able to get the passenger. This however depends on how close the cab is to the passenger, it would seem that an internal evaluation might decide to approve/transfer the order to a closer cab.
The phones that are being used for this system is provided by GrabTaxi to the drivers themselves for a fee that spans a year and is collected in a daily basis to ensure minimal impact on the driver’s end. They get to own the phones and they even differ in models/brands according to the driver I talked with.
All the informstion and history of jobs that the particular cab has taken on are recorded in the device which promotes transparency on the end of tbe driver and the operator. I was told that it is a very secure system as deviations from routes that have been placed in the order are met with calls from the GrabTaxi dispatch who’ll inquire on the changed direction from both the driver and the passenger.
The phone and app are registered to only one cab and plate so while the driver can use the phone for any other web activity he cannot use it with another cab with a different plate… a pity but the dynamics of how the service is distributed do merit some form of security on the investors end. It also apparently comes with a security app which, in instances where the phone may be stolen, can apply wipes and locks from the dispatch through web and location services.