Flywheel, the taxi start-up gears up to bring cutting edge technologies to the taxis cabs plying all around the streets of San Francisco. The taxi aggregator just got the official gesture from the California regulators to install TaxiOS, the smartphone-based Flywheel platform.
Flywheel Launches TaxiOS for Taxi Cabs, Approved by Californian Regulators
Flywheel’s TaxiOS features electronic dispatch, payments, navigation and GPS-based metering was introduced in October as a part of the experimental run program in San Francisco. The smart platform was at first constrained to 70 cabs in San Francisco because of the state regulations, yet now the TaxiOs will be implemented throughout the state.
“The pilot program in San Francisco was a huge success for us,” Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur told. “We knew our solution was accurate and easier to use than other options but having actual drivers provide feedback on what they see in everyday use was invaluable. Because our system is software based we were able to take feedback and quickly implement it, and will continue to customize our system based on the needs of the industry.”
Each of the 200 or more Flywheel branded taxis in San Francisco will be furnished with TaxiOS by February.
Approved by Californian Regulators
“Approval to operate in California is huge for us, but it’s just the beginning,” Mathur said. “The key to TaxiOS has always been its scalability, so we look forward to continuing to gain state approvals — in New York and beyond — and expanding TaxiOS across the country. The NYC TLC has received our application for the pilot and we expect to be launching in NYC in early 2016.”
At the same time, its opponents Arro and Way2Ride tout themselves as surge-free contrasting options to Uber and Lyft – the vanquishers of cab services in the US. Arro operates in New York, with plans to expand to other territories and Way2Ride operates in New York and Philadelphia.
“Our strategy for competing in New York, and in other markets will be our TaxiOS platform,” Mathur said. “It’s not only expensive but time-consuming for companies to install other vendor equipment when it takes only 15 minutes to install and configure a phone with Flywheel. Additionally, this is a mobile platform which will give drivers access to more flexible cashiering, dispatch options and revenue opportunities such as last-mile delivery. So basically it’s all the functionality of those ugly boxes in the front of taxis, in a single cost efficient phone, plus new opportunities afford by having a smartphone in every car.”