Dubai RTA launches Smart Taxi apps
Dubai, June 17, 2014
Dubai's Road Transport Authority (RTA) has officially launched the 'Smart Taxi' app, considered the first of its kind enabling clients to book taxis and directly track their path until their arrival in a real time exercise.
The transport agency's latest, highly innovative smart application, aimed at supporting the tourist movement in the emirate, will cover all taxicabs in Dubai.
Announcing this at a press conference, Abdullah Ali Al Madani, the chairperson of RTA's Smart City Committee and CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector, said the new app will be fully integrated with RTA's booking and dispatch center, which is responsible for handling incoming taxi booking requests from the public.
All smartphone users can download the app into their mobiles through entering the statement (RTA Smart Taxi) in Apple Store for iPhones and the statement (Dubai Smart Taxi) in Play Store for Galaxy phones, he stated.
Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, the head of the team supervising the implementation of the integrated roadmap for transition into a smart government and CEO of Licensing Agency; Dr Youssef Mohammed Al Ali, the CEO of Public Transport Agency also attended the presss conference.
The initiative is launched in the context of RTA’s full support to the initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city worldwide within less than three years.
This support is manifested in adopting smart solutions and apps in various services and initiatives provided by the RTA to the public, stated Al Madani.
“Since inception the RTA has been pursuing the delivery of services befitting the high profile of the Dubai emirate as a premier economic, tourist and financial global hub attracting investors, business leaders, tourists and visitors particularly during the season of conventions representing a host of vital sectors,” he added.
Al Madani said these smart services should be of a 5-star category through offering them via smart mobile phones enabling users to process their transactions in a smooth and accurate manner at any time and place without obliging them to wait for conventional procedures to take place; which will eventually add to their satisfaction rating.
Bahrozyan pointed out that all agencies and sectors of the RTA were moving ahead towards the optimal implementation of smart services with a view to delivering an array of accessible services for all community segments enabling them to benefit from RTA’s service offering represented in taxi and public transport services as well as other services on offer.
“We, in RTA, are seeking to develop the best concepts and ideas in support of the drive launched by our prudent government with regard to the transition to the Smart Government and transforming the entire Dubai into the smartest city in the world within less than three years with the aim of fostering a cosmopolitan city characterized by advanced service offering and happy life and exclusive welfare for citizens, residents, tourists and visitors alike,” he added.
Dr Youssef Al Ali said the new Smart Taxi app constitutes high value added to the package of RTA services, particularly as the taxi sector is considered among the key sectors supporting the tourist movement in the emirate.
“This app will be fully integrated with the Booking and Dispatch Center at the Public Transport Agency; which is responsible for handling incoming taxi booking requests from the public. The Center is manned by staffs well trained on dealing with advanced technologies rendering booking a taxicab a smooth, speedy and accurate exercise,” he noted.
The press conference included a visual presentation made by Adel Shakri, the director of transportation systems, Public Transport Agency, in which he demonstrated the service in a real life model through a smart phone.
He explained to the public the steps to be taken for using the Smart Taxi app installed on smart phones, and the credence of this app was boosted by the arrival of taxicabs in the front of the hotel where the press conference was being held.
Explaining the concept, Shakri said: "The Smart Taxi service has a unique concept in ‘ordering the taxi by flipping the phone’ thus enabling the user to order a taxi by simply flipping the smart phone such as the iPhone or Galaxy. To enable the holder use this app, the telephone number must be entered such that the app will look for the nearest taxicab and automatically direct it to the requester."
"This app is capable of instantly pinpointing the location of the user rendering the exercise of locating a taxicab very smooth and straightforward. Once the cabdriver confirms the order, the user is directly informed about the location of the taxicab, and will also be intimated when the cab arrives at the location selected by the user," he added.
With this apps, it will be possible for users to assess the performance of drivers, thus enabling the RTA to obtain direct feedback from users which will accordingly contribute to raising their satisfaction rating.
The smart initiative will cover more than 8,997 taxicabs including 495 cabs of the fleet of Hala Taxi. The taxi system is fully automated with no human intervention involved, and the requester can track the movement of the cab until its arrival at the destination, and the system is linked with the Booking & Dispatch System known as Dispatcher 8 or D8.
“At the end of the trip, the user is provided with a simple 5-point template to assess the performance of the driver, and through this app it will be possible to retrieve the previous booking requests made by the user for use in processing new booking requests.
“This app also enables the user, besides the instant booking of taxicabs, to book a taxi in advance at any time and date, and if the user approaches a taxi rank, the app will give directions leading to the taxicab," added Shakri.
A key feature of The Smart Taxi app is that it can instantly pick up the address and identify the whereabouts of the passenger; which enables the user to recognize the address without having to key-in the details of the address.-TradeArabia News Service