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Dubai taxis ‘find their way’

Dubai taxis about to get smarter

By the end of this year, Dubai residents need no longer struggle to reach their destinations.

June 3, 2013 1:08 by

Whether you rely heavily on taxis in Dubai to commute and get around the city or you’re just the occasional when-my-car-is-in-the-garage sort of customer, chances are you’ve been lost more than once. Blame it on bad mapping software, the driver’s lack of familiarity with roads and landmarks or the structure of the city itself – something has to be done to make both your life and that of the driver’s easier.

Having ‘found’ ourselves lost many-a-time, Kipp is both glad and relieved to report that by the end of this year, if you step into any of Dubai’s 8,007 taxis on the road, drivers will have a hi-tech navigation system at the tip of their fingers – referred to by the Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) as ‘smart maps’.

“All of our cabs will be applying the new system by the end of 2013,” says Adel Shakri, Director of Transport Systems at the RTA Public Transport Agency, according to Gulf News. The system has already been put in place in roughly 3,500 taxis in the emirate and has, according to Shakri, helped drivers to smoothly reach customers’ destinations with unmatched efficiency.

“The system also records the real time of movement of the vehicle reserved by passengers through the respective reservation and distribution centre at the Transport Systems Department,” he said, emphasising that “Dubai’s expansion never stops” and that this move mirrors a growing demand to meet the needs of both residents and visitors.

“We need to keep up with the same rhythm by adding to the maps strategic sites of public transport services. This includes taxi cabs, which serve as the cultural façade of our emirate. And we need to boost their efficiency by supporting them with hi-tech systems to eventually offer the best services to users,” he says.

The mapping system will sport an audio communication feature to guide drivers to locations, addresses and landmarks, as well as provide accurate information about the locations of hotels, hospitals or commercial centres.

Director of Fleet Drivers Affairs at Dubai Taxi Corporation, Marwan Othman, says that the majority of drivers have already begun training on the new system to ‘achieve the system’s main goal – serving passengers’.

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