The Mobile Knowledge Passenger Information Monitor (PIM) is the most widely deployed passenger facing, in‑taxi information, entertainment and point‑of‑sale terminal in the world today. It combines GPS navigation and tracking, point‑of‑sale and entertainment functions in a single integrated device. The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission has approved the Mobile Knowledge and two other systems for this purpose, and has mandated that all 13,000 Yellow Cabs operating under its jurisdiction be equipped by 31 August 2008. To date, Mobile Knowledge and its Partners have deployed 5,000 units.
The PIM features a 10.4‑inch rugged touch screen display that shows the position of the vehicle overlaid on a map, allowing passengers in the back seat to track their progress through the city. The PIM is able to accurately and reliably track a vehicle through New York's busy streets thanks to u‑blox' dead reckoning technology. Dead reckoning uses sensors in combination with GPS to provide 100% road coverage, even in areas with no GPS signals such as streets with high‑rise buildings, tunnels, parking lots and other covert environments without GPS signals.
"From past experience in the New York market, we knew the challenges of the dense urban canyon of Manhattan and went to great lengths to source the best available positioning and location technology for the PIM. When sourcing a GPS receiver, we selected u‑blox' LEA‑4R dead reckoning GPS module for its unmatched reliability, accuracy and ease of integration. Ultimately, we wanted to ensure we were providing the New York City Yellow Cab fleet with a GPS solution that would not fail, no matter how harsh the signal conditions," said Kevin French, Chief Operating Officer at Mobile Knowledge. In addition to the in‑vehicle component, the system's web‑based fleet management software offers an array of built‑in functions that enable easy, efficient management of drivers and vehicles. A real‑time display of the status of taxicabs provides fleet managers with a clear and accurate picture of their taxi business and automates what was previously a manual and time consuming process of Driver Log Sheet collection and submission to the city authority.
Other features such as electronic shift schedules, text communication with drivers (informing them about traffic alerts or where yellow taxis are needed), as well as a panic button that drivers may use in the case of emergency, ensure managers and drivers benefit from a highly automated and integrated communication system. Moreover, the system makes previously time‑consuming efforts to locate lost and forgotten articles a thing of the past. The passenger need only look at their receipt for the vehicle number of the taxi they were in, and call a central number to request assistance.
Brad Sherrard, Vice‑President Sales at u‑blox America Inc, said: "The PIM offers taxi drivers, passengers and fleet managers an extensive array of innovative features that help them make best use of their time and resources. This ground‑breaking system which sets new standards in rich, efficient and transparent communications is unique in that it simultaneously tracks, entertains and enhances safety, as well as offering secure card payment options. We are extremely proud that Mobile Knowledge has chosen u‑blox for this revolutionary product and look forward to seeing other cities follow the New York example".