For Cabs, the Future Is 2002

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has proudly unveiled “the cab of the future,” in the words of the Daily News: a wondrous contraption where “passengers can watch television, get the weather forecast, and pay by credit card.” Sounds fantastic, except — correct us if we’re wrong — half the cabs are already supposed to take plastic. Every sane cabbie, however, will tell you that the reader is “broken,” since the convoluted current system of divvying up money between the card services vendor, the medallion holder, and the driver ends up screwing the latter something fierce. As for the interactive television screens, we’ve already tried this one, in 2002. Remember badly pixellated Harrison Ford telling you not to litter, or something? That technology, now largely abandoned, had a delightful side effect of turning the cabs into four-wheeled vomitoria.

Of course, if this were Singapore, all cabs would have wi-fi. Still, we do like the sound of the new map feature that will allow you to see if the cab’s taking “an unnecessarily circuitous route.” Otherwise, we’ll settle for a pine-tree air freshener and 1010 WINS.

Futuristic City Taxis Hailed [NYDN]
Building a Better Taxi [NYM]