Taxi and Limousine Commission eyes technology that would silence chatty drivers.
New York City's famous yellow cabs could soon host cell-phone-free zones.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission, which regulates and licenses the cab industry, may block drivers from using cell phones as part of a plan to improve passengers' experiences. The TLC also may add interactive games and allow passengers to download songs while riding in New York cabs.
New York state prohibits the use of cell phones while driving, unless the driver uses a hands-free set. The TLC said that it's still a safety concern and an annoyance for cab drivers to talk on the phone. The TLC is considering the use of technology that would block cell phone signals in the front seat only, so passengers could continue to chat away.
The TLC announced plans for possible use of technology to block the drivers' conversations Tuesday through a request for information for its next Taxicab Passenger Enhancement Program.
"Recently, there has been emerging technology on the ability to block cell phone usage in vehicles," the document states. "The TLC would welcome comments on the advances in this area in order to prevent cell phone usage by drivers while not interfering with a passenger's ability to use a cell phone as well as the feasibility of implementing this type of technology as part of the T-PEP system."
While the document indicates that cab drivers could use their phones during emergencies, it's unclear exactly how the cell phone-blocking technology would operate to respond to emergencies.
InformationWeek will be highlighting innovative government IT organizations in an upcoming issue. Nominate your agency by submitting an essay on your most innovative IT initiative completed in the last year. Find out more, and nominate your organization by May 1.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.