New York’s yellow taxis are getting an update.
You’ll soon be able to see a flat, upfront fare when you hail a cab with the taxi app Curb as part of a series of upgrades the company is rolling out to make cabs more modern.
Curb Mobility, the tech company behind the app that lets you request, reserve and pay for cabs with your smartphone, announced on Thursday two new Android tablets called Dash and Ryde will be implemented into its yellow taxis across the city starting next month.
Dash replaces taxi meters with a tablet that has tools like multi-language support, GPS navigation, live traffic information. It also incorporates a heatmap, allowing drivers to see where the highest demand for a trip is — street hails or e-hails — based on historical trip data analyzed by Curb.
The technology will also allow yellow taxi drivers to offer riders a flat-upfront fare if passengers book through e-hail apps like Curb, though that feature won’t be released until later this summer.
Street hails still have to be meter based, according to the pilot program approved by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, but through that up-coming feature, booking a cab with your phone will get you a quote for your route a la Uber and Lyft.
Ryde is the passenger-facing upgrade: a 10-inch tablet that runs on Android, rather than Windows, and pairs with the Dash system. This will display the usuals like video entertainment, a live map of the cab’s current location and current trip info, but will soon also support third-party apps, like possibly Spotify or OpenTable, so you can play music or find a restaurant while you ride.
“Yellow cabs are part of the fabric that makes this city so vibrant and distinctive,” said Amos Tamam, CEO of Curb, in a statement. “In the face of disruption, there is a unique opportunity to modernize and enhance the taxi experience for both sides.”