Guest article by: Laurence Docherty, Head of Sales at Taxi Butler
When building a successful taxi business and maintaining growth, business owners must be aware of the growing influence of technology, adaptability and innovation. 2022 was a reassuring year for the global taxi booking industry, especially compared to 2020 and 2021. The industry has been steadily growing since January 2021. The recent Taxi Butler Industry Report highlights that the taxi industry saw 242% growth in H1 2022 vs H1 2021. May 2022 saw over 13% more taxi bookings than in May 2019 (pre- pandemic). North America and Oceania are said to have experienced significant growth in taxi bookings between February and March 2022.
With new and innovative technology trends leading the current global taxi industry, technological progress has completely changed the face of the industry and how people use private taxi services worldwide. This article highlights some key technologies to watch out for in 2023 that will revolutionise the taxi industry and support growth.
The Influence of IoT (Internet of Things)
The Influence of IoT on the taxi industry is significant; from road safety issues to monitoring fleet management systems, IoT has been an end-to- end solution provider.
Other improvements in fleet management, like maintenance cost, fuel consumption, and quick accident response seem possible with IoT. Fleet owners now embed high- quality sensors in their vehicles to gather real-time data. They can track the vehicle's location, save fuel expenditure and check driver's behaviour on route adherence, braking practices, speed regulations, and so on. With AI, we can foresee the taxi industry doing amazing things like checking fuel capacity, tyre pressure, and many more in real-time. The figures for the years 2019-2024 state that the market of the taxi industry is relied upon to enlist 9.22% CAGR.
The emergence of QR codes across the taxi industry
Taxi QR code bookers are the next-generation way for taxi fleets to generate and automate bookings from anywhere inside their local venues.
Imagine this: a hotel guest is getting ready to go out for dinner. They want a simple and safe way of getting to their destination. They see a sticker on the door with a taxi-hailing QR code as they leave their hotel room. They scan the code and book a taxi from the hotel with a local and trusted taxi company. They track their taxi from the comfort of the lobby until it arrives. Working closely with taxi fleets, Taxi Butler developed their QR code taxi booking technology, testing it with real fleets, venues and passengers. Delivering endless possibilities for taxi fleets across the globe, the QR taxi booker lets taxi fleets generate even more automated bookings, increase their brand visibility and create exclusivity with local venues.
QR has also become a predominant payment process for taxis worldwide. Passengers in the UK can scan QR codes on a driver's badge, reassuring passengers that their driver is legally compliant and has a valid licence.
In the UK, QR technology for the taxi industry hit its peak glory during COVID. Each vehicle had a unique QR code that passengers scanned, and as part of their contact tracing initiatives, these QR codes synced with the NHS app and helped NHS track and trace get in touch when someone was exposed.
Selecting the best taxi dispatch system
When was the last time you called the taxi company to book a taxi? Or walked through the street, hailing for a cab. Or saw telephone operators assigning jobs to drivers using two-way radios? Technology continues to enhance the overall travelling experience. Modern dispatch software is far more sophisticated and allows better management in customer bookings, scheduling, routing and tracking, driver comms etc. On top of the dispatch systems, most taxi businesses are adopting technological advances like the purpose-built and innovative one-click simple taxi booking device to support the growth of their taxi business. This technology upgrade significantly increases overall automation, the total amount of bookings, and the taxi drivers' work efficiency, allowing them to quickly identify where the work is available, reducing wasted fuel and time.
Automated customer support
Customer happiness is critical to a company's long-term success. Recent statistics show that 59% of consumers care more about customer experience post-COVID-19 than before. Besides giving discounts and other marketing giveaways, taxi companies now embrace call centre automation, such as Flip, to give their customers the special attention they deserve. This automated phone system takes bookings and automatically passes them to the dispatch system without human interaction. In most cases, customers automate half their calls on just day one, improving the total output and customer satisfaction and growing the taxi business.
Anyone who calls anytime will immediately be greeted. Typically taxi firms are expected to attend 40% of total calls via IVR, which might go up to 70% in some cases. This technology helps customers complete simple requests and smoothly pass more complex situations to the team.
Progression of commuting vehicles
Comfortable and luxurious travel will increase over the next decade. From electric cars and hybrid vehicles to driverless cars, the industry is witnessing the most significant changes in the methods of commuting passengers.
Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as customers demand environmentally-clean and sustainable transportation services. It will be necessary for taxi booking companies to expand their fleet with electric or hybrid vehicles. Electrification for ride-sharing will help reduce pollution, lessen dependency on fossil fuels, and decrease vehicle maintenance costs. On top of that, it will help keep costs down for riders.
Bloomberg NEF's findings estimate a rise in plug-in vehicles from 6.6 million in 2021 to 20.6 million in 2025. Moreover, 23% of new passenger vehicle sales are predicted globally in 2025.
In June 2022, self-driving vehicles became a hot topic of debate. California regulators gave a robotic taxi service the green light to begin charging passengers for driverless rides in San Francisco. Statistics show that most ride-sharing drivers work part-time, which means they already have another source of income. In Market Research Future (MRFR) research, Robo-Taxi Market is estimated to Touch USD 39.81 Billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 53.8%.
While the upgrading of autonomous vehicles continues, experts predict that in 2022, there will be approximately 54 million new connected vehicles on the road. These connected cars will soon be able to communicate with each other and infrastructure like traffic lights and stop signs. This could be great for safety, but it will also lead to a decrease in privacy.
After a challenging past few years, the demand for the global taxi industry is increasing steadily. With the international travel sector growing exponentially and taxis continuing to play an essential role in modern public transit, the taxi booking industry is more robust than ever to meet the growing demands. Despite numerous obstacles, the industry in 2022 showed promising development. As we emerge from the pandemic, 2023 is the year the global taxi booking industry is looking forward to shaping its future.