Taxi cabs are crucial to a city’s transportation system. I realized this recently after trying to get a cab after a Charger’s game in San Diego and during a taxi cab strike in Atlanta. Having access to cabs 24/7 is something that we all take for granted. Taxis are vital people movers and cities cannot function properly without them.
Taxi cab fleets in major cities range from approximately 5,000 – 10,000 vehicles. For example, the city of Chicago has a fleet of about 6000 cabs. Chances are, fleets this large owe their flow and easy operation to GPS fleet tracking systems. That is because without them, too much is left to chance. Drivers and consumers are wandering about rather aimlessly hoping to hook up at the right place and the right time.
GPS tracking is a preferred method of taxi cab fleet management. Companies dispatching taxi cabs know that a tracking system will tell them where their fleet is exactly, so they have better control of their resources, and as an extension of that, better control of their operating costs and profit margin. GPS tracking systems are used to: record on-duty trips; to keep an electronic record of mileage and location, eliminating the need for manual trip sheets; and to better dispatch the closest available vehicle to trip requests.
Satellite is a Must for GPS Tracking
A GPS tracking receiver, placed in a vehicle, calculates its precise location at regular intervals (seconds or minutes), using radio signals from satellites. It records that data in internal memory for later download (passive vehicle tracking); or immediately transfers the raw data to a central server through a mobile phone network (real-time vehicle tracking). Dispatch uses a central computer to monitor where each vehicle is at any particular time. There is really no limit to how many GPS tracking vehicles can be viewed on a computer map simultaneously.
Benefits to the GPS Tracking of Cabs
Taxi cab services with GPS tracking systems report the following advantages:
- Stem the release of harmful carbon emissions: Cabs are one of the biggest offenders of air pollution. Each taxi logs hundreds of miles a day, plus the cabbies are notorious for sitting and idling for long periods of time while waiting for their next fares. GPS tracking is environmentally-conscious because it can be used to reduce fuel use.
- Historical trip index: Vehicle tracking systems archive hundreds of hours of travel history. This data can be used to target driving patterns and reduce wasteful habits like speeding, redundant trips and taking an out-of-the-way route to get from Point A to Point B. The GPS tracking record can also be used to investigate police incidents (tickets or traffic accidents) and monitor when specific vehicles are scheduled for mechanical service or routine maintenance.
- Avoiding traffic jams: Every cab passenger’s biggest nightmare is getting stuck in traffic with the meter running. Real-time GPS fleet tracking systems can figure out how traffic is flowing.
- Theft recovery: If a cab is stolen, its whereabouts will be known if it is equipped with a vehicle tracking system.
- Track lost parcels: If a customer leaves luggage, a laptop or umbrella in a taxi, a location and time are all that is needed to narrow the search to a few vehicles. GPS tracking systems record a detailed travel history.