Eyetease® was honoured to have its first ‘Taxi Celebrity’ in the back of our taxi earlier this week. Mr Karl James, Co-founder of Tweet-a-London-Taxi (with over 20,000 Twitter followers!), the TLC Taxi App and a licensed taxi driver for over 11 years, has a keen eye for technology and its benefits to the Cab trade. Mr James is actively involved in a range of key initiatives within the Cab trade and was the perfect man to call up to road test our latest gadget – CabWifi™.

Mr James admits, “I was honoured to be asked to try out and test CabWifi on the 3rd April 2012 by Eyetease Limited. They have devised and produced a system bringing full high speed wifi into the London taxi and effectively turning the world famous London black cab into a wifi hot spot, which is great news!” He goes on to say, “for the taxi travelling public, giving them (for the first time) free and unfettered wifi access is a huge step forward for London.”

The Test:

Eyetease was keen to see what Mr James thought of the latest CabWifi solution soon to be introduced to the City of London. And what better way to test CabWifi than to surf the web whilst being chauffeured by Eyetease Limited’s very own CEO, Richard Corbett? Mr James mentions, “I rode in back of the CabWifi fitted taxi around the City and East London for half an hour – an unusual experience for me not being the cabby in the front! Playing the part of a passenger, I quickly logged in using my iPad and iPhone, saw a 15 second ad on each (this short ad basically pays for the whole service) then voila! I was online, browsing, tweeting etc. I then began the ultimate test and opened the Sky News App for iPad and ran a live news tv feed – all completely uninterrupted and crystal clear in HD clarity whilst being driven around.”

Why CabWifi?

Eyetease’s taxi wifi proposition solves several issues associated with mobile wifi connectivity including functioning within man-made chasms (i.e. between high rise buildings) and wifi whilst in motion.

So why would anyone want wifi access whilst in a Taxi? Furthermore, why would someone want Wifi access when they can use 3G on their phones? Simple! Eyetease believe there are 9 excellent reasons for introducing this new service to taxis:

  1. CabWifi has a faster and stronger connection to the internet (up to 7Mbps) than using your phone
  2. Most mobile phone contracts do not offer ‘all-you-can-eat’ data plans – often restricted to 1GB – meaning consumers are evermore conscious of their monthly bills when using data hungry applications
  3. Works on any wifi enabled device – tablets, laptops, book readers, everything!
  4. No need for a dongle for your laptop
  5. Taxi drivers can benefit from uninterrupted access – meaning they can offset their data usage on data hungry applications, such as Taxi Apps!
  6. Tourists using a black cab can use skype and call home, send emails, etc… all without incurring high data roaming charges. There you go Boris, another great service for this great city!
  7. Its 100% free – funded through an Ads-For-Access model – simply watch a short Ad and then access the internet. Similar approach used with online sites including Spotify and YouTube.
  8. CabWifi gives the public another great reason to travel in a London Black Cab
  9. Takes 2mins to install – no lengthy set up!

Supporting Data:

A study conducted by Ubiquitous, involving 517 taxi passengers, and publicised 29th March 2012 in The Drum uncovers some excellent data regarding consumer behaviour trends whilst travelling in taxis.

Key Findings:

  • 79% of passengers admitted they would like to be able to easily identity taxis which offer free wi-fi while hailing them
  • There is a tremendous opportunity for major operators and technology companies to associate their brand themselves with these SOS services and help consumers re-energise and re-connect at a moment of need.”
  • 91% of passengers use their handsets during a taxi journey, 84% of passengers check their emails and 60% check their Facebook
  • Availability of technology on the go is of growing importance.

Andrew Barnett, Managing Director of Ubiquitous, commented: “Mobile phones running out of batteries, or failing to get a decent mobile connection when out and about, are pains suffered by busy consumers and business people up and down the country. For this reason, taxi passengers are understandably keen to benefit from the innovations in in-cab technologies, be it to charge their smartphone to make an important call or access the internet to search for crucial information or download emails.”

Andrew, we would have to agree with you!

Final Verdict:

Following our CabWifi trial with Mr James, we think his final verdict says it all – “Riding in a London black cab will never be the same again!”

Contact Us:

For companies looking to find out more about cabwifi, please contact us on sales@cabwifi.com. If you’re a taxi driver and would like to register your interest, follow @CabWifi on Twitter, email taxis@cabwifi.com or fill in this short form.