• Bluedrop Blogs and Guides

  • Bluedrop Insurance Blog
  • Telematics driven by smartphone apps in Taxi Industry

    Fleet technology has a huge role to play in the taxi industry and by 2019 ABI research has reported that global penetration of taxis fitted with telematics equipment will be up to 21 per cent. This is a massive development no doubt on the radar of many taxi fleet managers. Telematics systems allow drivers, taxi fleet operators and taxi insurance companies to assess both driving behaviour and fuel consumption. With reductions in fuel, maintenance, fleet insurance premiums and communication costs the benefits are clear.

    Not only are costs reduced, but the number of appointments can be increased due to operational efficiency and taxi fleet managers will find it easier to achieve working time directive compliance. Taxi companies will not only be able to demonstrate that their service is environmentally friendly, but also be able to prove it with the abundance of data available from such systems. Improved job scheduling means that it is possible to quickly identify the nearest driver to the job and instantly deploy them using the best route, ensuring appointment times are consistently met.

    Taxi Fleet smartphone telematics

    But it also seems that the rise in use of telematics in the taxi industry is being directly driven by a surge in smartphone taxi apps. As such apps require telematics within the taxi for communication, the growth of telematics in this industry has risen significantly and those cabs with such technology will also see the benefit of reduced taxi fleet insurance. Apps such as Uber, Hailo, Kabbee and Allocab allow users to order a taxi quickly and with ease whilst also being at a lower cost. The most popular apps have picked up momentum of usage really quickly allowing users contact with the drivers directly and bypassing a company’s booking system via telematics units whilst also offering price comparisons. Due to this direct contact and lack of regulation which is so harshly bestowed upon the traditional taxi market, many taxi companies are not viewing them particularly favourably.

    In some countries, such as China, taxi apps have been banned where telematics is already mandatory in cabs. Even in London cabbies sought mass protest in June last year against the Transport for London for failing to hold the mobile-based car service to the proper regulations, following the likes of Uber. But it is thought that such apps won’t be able to remain avoided for long. With many users crying out for such technology to help ease their journeys across busy cities where traditional cabbies are hard to flag down whilst also charging substantially more. It is more likely that taxi companies are going to have to start developing their own apps and usage of telematics to compete in this smartphone-driven market.

    Want to find out more about Bluedrop's taxi insurance?
    Return to blog menu