TomTom launches a Taxi app (but not as we know it)

05 Feb, 2013

Have you ever wondered whether your cab driver wasn’t driving around endlessly before dropping you off at your destination? You’re not alone, and TomTom just released an app to solve the problem: the TomTom Taxi Booking App tells you whether your cab driver is taking the optimal route.

After your taxi ride, you can rate your cab driver. Of course, you can also book a cab with TomTom Taxi. It’s another taxi app, but I like how TomTom brings its core competence of route planning into play in it.

“We want to make the taxi industry more transparent,” TomTom project leader Steven Blom told Blom came to TomTom by way of earlier startups he launched called SMS Your Taxi, Taxi Rating and TXXI.  

GPS manufacturer TomTom now has a range of apps for taxis. For businesses (both nightlife and corporates) who often order cabs, it has a “Taxi Butler” – a yellow box that can summon a taxi with one button. For taxi drivers and taxi companies, it offers the Taxi Assistant. In the future, TomTom wants to offer taxi payments too, it says.

For the time being, the TomTom Taxi Booking app will be a pilot program in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but there are plans to roll out internationally.

In other taxi e-hailing news, London based Uber competitor Hailo just raised $ 30 million from investors Union Square Ventures, Richard Branson and KDDI, reports AllThingsD. The cash will help Hailo to go to New York, and it also has plans to  branch out to Madrid, Barcelona and Tokio. The new round values Hailo at $ 140 million.

[][photo: decodrama, Flickr]

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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