High-tech taxi fleet hits Dublin streets

17 Oct 2005

Up to €3.8m worth of technology is to be invested in a new fleet of taxis that will feature a variety of high-tech security features unseen before on Dublin streets.

The fleet of taxies rolling on to Dublin streets by Xpert Digi Taxis will be equipped with in-car CCTV cameras, emergency panic buttons and an integrated global positioning system (GPS). The company’s chief executive Vinny Kearns said the emphasis will be on security and driver safety.

“We want to set new standards for the Irish taxi industry and our No 1 aim is security and peace of mind for both passengers and drivers. There is a definite need for a safe and secure taxi service in this country and Xpert Digi Taxis will provide this service. We carried out a feasibility study for this new concept and we also visited a number of taxi operations in other European countries as part of this research. Xpert Digi Taxis is based on the best practice that we have seen in other countries,” said Kearns.

The company will operate initially in the Dublin area and has 200 taxis on board from today. A nationwide rollout of the service is on the cards and the company expects to have 2,000 taxis on the road within the next three years.

As well as the uniformed drivers, CCTV cameras, panic buttons and GPS systems, the new taxis will feature a chip & PIN credit and laser card terminal.

The in-car CCTV cameras will use Bluetooth technology to interface with an in-car XDA 2i device and images will be stored for 48 hours and may be examined in the case of complaint. The XDA will also be used by the drivers to receive job notifications from the dispatch centre.

It is understood after signing a deal with Conduit the new company will become the first taxi firm in Ireland to have a dedicated call centre. It is understood Conduit will deploy 16 staff to operate the call centre.

By John Kennedy