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Verizon creates connected cab solution

Verizon is leveraging its telematics technology to create a connected cab solution for Yellow Cab of Columbus, Ohio. The goal is to streamline operations for the cab company by making it easier for drivers to find and rent their vehicles. Instead of leasing cabs by the day, week or month, drivers will be able to locate and lease cabs in real time using a mobile app.

Yellow Cab of Columbus, a third generation family-owned business, already has mobile apps for passengers to use to find taxicabs. Now the company is adding an app for drivers to cut administrative costs by facilitating vehicle reservation and tracking. The company says its employees range from those who make a lucrative career out of driving to those who drive occasionally for extra cash. The Verizon partnership is meant to make it easier for all drivers to work when and where they can.

Verizon’s vehicle tracking service is part of a solution the carrier calls Verizon Share. The idea is to help all kinds of enterprises turn vehicle and equipment leasing into a short-term, turnkey activity that does not involve storage or upfront investments. The carrier said industries that can benefit from this service will include construction and recreational vehicle leasing. Verizon also sees the share model as a good solution for corporate and academic campuses, where people may use mass transit to get to work or school, but need a car to get them from the bus stop to their final destination.

“We’re seeing rental car companies, dealerships as well as public and private fleet owners in construction; recreation and even on university campuses implement similar solutions to stay ahead of the competition and provide services and experiences fit for the 21st century,” said Verizon’s Mike Toto, product director of IoT solutions. “Our work with Columbus Yellow Cab is yet another example of a private fleet owner improving asset usage and customer satisfaction by providing a better, friendlier on-demand experience – one that they’ve come to expect in the new sharing economy.”

Columbus recently won a $40 million “smart city” grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the city has said that transportation is one of its biggest challenges. The city plans to install sensors on its street lights to monitor traffic jams and hazards, and it also has plans to implement a smart parking solution.

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