Waterford, Ireland, 30th September 2011
Over thirty local Waterford City Taxi drivers have signed up to be part of a pilot scheme aimed at giving any member of the public the ability to confirm the identity of a taxi driver in real-time using their smartphone.
The pilot is due to run for 4-6 weeks and Global Business Register Ltd (GBR), the Waterford based company developing the system, is encouraging taxi drivers in other towns and cities across the country to register for the scheme. It is hoped that the Taxi Regulation Directorate will support the system’s nationwide roll out once the pilot has been completed successfully.
GBR has been developing this application since issues in the industry were brought to public attention during a Prime Time investigation into the taxi industry which was aired by RTE 1 in May.
The method to identify the taxi driver and car is quick and easy to use for a member of the public, only requiring them to have a smart phone.
Each taxi driver will place a QR code just above the door handle on both rear door windows making it accessible for the user to scan the code from the footpath. There will also be QR codes placed on the inside the vehicle on the back of the front seat and on the dashboard for passengers in the vehicle.
Each QR code will be unique for the public service vehicle and will not be able to be replicated as it is proposed to link directly to the databases of the Taxi Regulation Directorate in the National Transport Authority when the system goes fully live.
A user can use any standard QR code reader, such as XZING, installed on their phone to do a simple scan of the QR code. They will receive the verified identity of the licensed taxi driver and vehicle back to their phone. Scanning a QR code is simple – all the user needs is a QR code scanner on their smart phone which is available for free through the iPhone app store or android Marketplace. The user can now look at the vehicle and driver and see if they both match. If they match, they can feel safe that they are getting into a fully licensed and compliant vehicle with a fully licensed and compliant driver. If they don’t match they can decide not to get in and report the mismatch as appropriate.
Over the coming weeks when you see the TrustiD™ Taxi QR codes begin to appear on the side of taxis we encourage you to try out the service and simply just ‘Scan the Taxi’.
Once the pilot has been completed GBR will be launching a dedicated mobile app that will offer additional features that will allow a member of the public to record their journeys, rate their experiences and immediately report lost property via a secure SMS based communication system.
The App, which will be available for iPhone and Android smartphones will go beyond just the verified identity sent back to the user’s phone. According to Ben Cronin, CEO of GBR, “the safety of each passenger is our priority and each time a scan takes place a record will be kept of the location and phone number. From the app, a message can be automatically sent to a parent, spouse or friend informing them the individual is in a particular vehicle and the approximate time of arrival. This feature is unparalleled to any service on the market right now. Also due to the passenger’s details having been recorded, if an individual is to leave behind any personal items in the taxi, the passenger can immediately contact the driver via the TrustiD™ Taxi system and notify him/her of the lost property.”
The system will also allow for a much more personalised service for the individual. Users, through the app, will be able to avail of a booking feature and can send an SMS to their favourite dispatcher to arrange a pickup. The customer can also provide feedback on the journey and can rate the driver on a number of standard points. They can also view a history of scanned journeys and can easily report unlicensed vehicles or drivers.
The TrustiD™ Taxi system will also hold many benefits for all taxi drivers. The taxi driver will have the satisfaction of knowing each person feels safe in their car and will also be able to view a history of customer scans and feedback. It also holds an additional safety feature for drivers and there will be a historic record of each passenger having been in the vehicle in the event of a problem arising.
This service will be free to the public. It is hoped that the operation of the system will be cost neutral.
As this is a pilot scheme around the Waterford City area we are also seeking feedback from both members of the public and taxi drivers on the service. They can contact us and leave a comment on one of our social media channels.
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More information on the system can be found at www.trustidtaxi.com
To try for yourself, scan the following QR Code:
What is a QR Code?
QR stands for quick response and is a barcode that is readable by smart mobile phones. Common for many years in Japan, it is only recently that they have become popular in Europe and the United States. Within the black modules are encoded pieces of information and can contain data of any kind. QR Code Scanners are available for free from the iPhone app store, Android marketplace and other app stores.
About Global Business Register
Global Business Register Ltd is a leading on-line provider of verified identity solutions for companies and individuals that rely on access to official, live data sources. GBR provides direct, electronic access to the official company registration offices in 26 European Countries and over 40 US Corporate State Registers. With GBR you can check the legal and financial status of potential customers, suppliers and partners as recorded in the official government registers. The information is delivered, time and date stamped, in real-time to your desktop. Using the access to this data, GBR has developed a range of online identity products to solve emerging business problems revolving around verified identity.
For more information go to the Trust Passport website - www.trustpassport.com.