Finding a taxi can be troublesome at times. Your choices are usually limited to calling a single taxi
company and waiting up to half an hour, or attempting to hail one at a busy intersection.
A much easier option would be to launch a mobile phone application which uses your phone's built in GPS
and internet connectivity to communicate your location to taxi operators. Individual taxi operators would
use a companion application which would notify them of people nearby looking for a cab. Taxi company
dispatchers could also monitor a web application to manually locate people near their company's cabs.
Once a driver or dispatcher has located a person nearby, they would "claim" them and the application
would mark them as such to prevent other drivers from attempting to pick them up. After claimed a
potential passenger, the potential passenger would be notified of the taxi number and be given an
estimated time of arrival. The application would also display and optionally dial the passenger's phone
number to the taxi driver to allow communication if there are questions.
In order to discourage abuse by both taxi drivers and users, a feedback system would be added to allow
both drivers and passengers to rate each other. Drivers which have claimed a person but do not pick them
up would receive negative feedback, as would users who are not present when the cab arrives.
Once the taxi arrives the user would mark the trip as successful and the application would quit in order to
conserve battery power. Additionally, the application would automatically detect entry into a cab and
switch off automatically when a rate of speed faster than 10mph is detected.
The costs of running such a system would be minimal and could be paid for with location aware
advertisements which display unobtrusively on the user's device while they are waiting.