Minicab and Taxi Industry Calls for its Drivers to be Central to Driverless Cars Developments

A minicab and taxi steering group hosted by Kabbee, London’s leading licensed minicab comparison and booking app, has called for experienced minicab and taxi drivers to be invited to support driverless cars developments, in London.

 

The steering group has predicted that driverless cars becoming commonplace in the UK is in the far distant future, and even when they do start to take to the streets, they will not be ready to replace the service that minicabs and taxis offer in the capital for a long time yet.  The members of the group agreed that driverless vehicles would have a much stronger proposition as a ‘service’ to passengers if existing experienced drivers with the knowledge of London’s roads, and understanding of what passengers need and want when moving around the city, are consulted.

Last month the industry steering group brought together key representatives of the licensed minicab and black cab industry, including the LTDA, TfL, Kabbee and Get Taxi amongst others to discuss the potential impact driverless cars could have on London-based taxi drivers and licensed minicab fleets.

The discussion revealed a range of positives that will eventually come out of the adoption of driverless cars as cabs, but also came with grave concerns that the technology as it currently stands will not compare to the knowledge that London’s taxi and minicab drivers possess.

The steering group will be sending a letter this week to all manufacturing, technology, GPS and research partners, amongst other stakeholders to suggest a collaboration with a cross-section of experienced minicab and taxi drivers, to support progress.

Justin Peters, Founder and CEO of Kabbee, comments on the outcome of the industry roundtable: “Kabbee is designed to make minicabs mighty, and eventually, quotes for driverless minicabs will feature on our platform, there’s no doubt about that, and we embrace new technology.

 

“In order for driverless minicabs to become a reality, the existing drivers must be central to developments of driverless cars, if they are going to have the maximum positive impact on the city.”

 

“I believe that the work that licensed minicab and black cab drivers do is massively underestimated, and I am sure that the people behind driverless cars technology are starting to realise that.  We’re want to help drivers and technology companies come together to realise success together.”

 

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA commented during the steering group:

 

“Driverless taxis would struggle to fulfil many of the services currently carried out by taxi drivers, assisting disabled passengers, especially those in wheelchairs. Helping passengers with luggage and ensuring vulnerable people and women alone get safely inside their homes before driving away. I also suspect many customers will prefer interacting with real people rather than an anonymous automatic box, driverless taxis are not yet a reality as far as I am concerned.”

 

A copy of the letter signed by members of the steering groups can be found here.

 

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For more information please contact the Kabbee press office at Sense at kabbee@sensecommunications.co.uk or call 0203 551 3954.

 

Notes to Editor

 

  • We have the full Driverless cars roundtable transcript available upon request.

 

About Kabbee:

 

  • Kabbee became the first cab app to launch a loyalty programme, called Kabbee Treats.

 

  • Kabbee recently rolled out its new GPS based Live Plot technology that reduces waiting time for its customers by up to 14 minutes on average, and halves dead mileage for drivers. 

 

 

  • Kabbee lets users instantly compare quotes from more than 70 leading London fleets – based on time, location and type of car – and then book and pay by cash, card or pre-paid account. This saves passengers time and money and increases fleet efficiency.

 

  • Kabbee was launched in June 2011 and has had more than 500,000 app downloads to date.

 

  • Kabbee won the UK Mobile App & Design Awards for ‘Best Startup App’ in June 2014.

 

  • Kabbee was recently named as a ‘Future 50 Brand’ by Real Business, for being one of Britain’s most exciting and disruptive new businesses. 
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