SiGem's GPS Tracking Technology Used To Boost Cab Driver Security

Diamond Taxicabs in Toronto use SiGem's GPS technology to boost security for drivers and improve customer service.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

July 9, 2001

2 Min Read

Mention global positioning systems and images of Kitt the talking car in the TV show Knight Rider or Batman's sleek, gadget-filled Batmobile come to mind. Now try replacing the image of the technologically advanced sports cars with a fleet of taxicabs.

Diamond Taxicab Association in Toronto is using GPS technology from SiGem Inc., a wireless location-tracking-systems manufacturer, to provide city-mandated security measures for its drivers and better service for customers. Diamond installed SiGem's E-ping GPS tracking technology in 450 of its taxis. SiGem upgraded Diamond's Dell PowerEdge 1400 series servers with its electronic dispatch and fleet-management system after the city of Toronto began requiring all car service companies to install GPS or video cameras in taxis for security purposes. "There's been quite a few attacks on taxicab drivers in Toronto, which is a concern to the whole community," says Colin MacLeod, supervisor of enforcement with the city's Municipal Licensing and Standards department.

By using GPS, a driver in danger can alert a dispatcher, says Jim Bell, general manager of Diamond. "If a cab has an emergency, every dispatcher in the room is aware of where that cab is located on the monitor," he says.

Driver safety is an important benefit of GPS, but Bell says he's seen a real return on investment because he can provide more accurate information to customers. "For the first time I can honestly tell a customer whether I have a cab or don't have a cab," he says. "One of our biggest customer complaints is, 'You said the cab was going to be here at certain time and it's not here,' " Bell adds. Now that Diamond's dispatchers can match customers with the nearest drivers, Bell says they can take a cue from the old Gimble's and Macy's holiday-shopping playbook: sending customers to the competitor to get their needs met.

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