London's black cabs to add free WiFi; makes other cabs jealous

The London black cab is one of the most iconic images that visitors and residents of the city know very well. Sometimes called by their original name, "hackney carriage", the high end taxis began as horse drawn carriages in the 1600s. Today, it was revealed that these cabs will have a nice extra feature for those folks who want to get quick Internet access on the go.

Eyetease Media announced that, starting in 2013, they will begin to roll out CabWifi inside all of London's black cabs. Passengers will be able to use the free service to access the Internet via a 3G or 4G hotspot. The small catch is that they must view a 15 second ad on their Internet enabled device for every 15 minutes they are in the cab.

How do the cab drivers benefit from this service? Eyetease Media states:

Drivers, with a separate login are also able to benefit from the service and off-set the high cost of data charges incurred from using taxi apps, which some drivers claim have doubled their phone bills in recent months.

We suspect this business model might find its way to other cabs around the world, particularly in New York City, where many cabs already have interactive touch screen displays showing video news and information.

Drivers of a London black cab are famed for their information about the city. Before they receive their cab license, they must all pass a test called The Knowledge. It requires them to figure out the best route to their passenger's destination, without using a map, a GPS or even asking a supervisor via radio.

Source: Eyetease Media
London Cab Image via Olga&Elnur / Shutterstock.com

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4 Comments

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Dushmany said,
With how much those cabs cost to take a ride in, I'm not surprised.

I was actually quite surprised that the price isn't as high as people think. I've been living in London for a while and hadn't taken a black cab. Quite reasonable for some journeys if you're with others to split the fare.

drazgoosh said,
I was actually quite surprised that the price isn't as high as people think. I've been living in London for a while and hadn't taken a black cab. Quite reasonable for some journeys if you're with others to split the fare.

Shikaka said,
They arnt badly priced to be honest

Thank you to you both for replying.

Sorry, I should have explained better, I live in Wolverhampton, and a black cab journey of 2.6 miles can cost up to £5, more so if you're unlucky enough to hit every red light on the way to the destination, This I've observed while watching the meter in a few different black cabs, and my comparison was made using those and a private hire company in Wolves called Central, who's fare for the same journey is £2.80-£3.20 depending on the same situation. But this is not to say that there's anything wrong with having wifi in a cab