Whenever I board a cab I end up observing cab drivers and car.
In India, the cab market is growing and every automobile company is in the race to attract cab buyers. Thanks to the cab aggregators and economic growth.
According to the drivers, all automobile companies generally play around space, low cost of ownership, mileage, service network etc. Automobile companies claim that their car is perfect for cab purpose. Just to make it look like a cab sometimes they reduced the features and opened for cab market considering buys are generally price-conscious. The black bumper is a great example here.
The reality is when cars failed to attract personal buyers they opened for cab market. e.g are Indica, Logan/Verito, Etios etc. There are few exceptions here 🙂
Most of the time I have seen drivers carrying 2 phones. One on the mobile holder and one will be lying the seat. Water bottle, diary, parking slips, charging cables etc etc. Overall that driver area always looked messy to me. I feel pity for drivers. Whenever I asked they said, “Kya karen sir, kuch nahi kar sakte” (What to do sir, can’t do anything).
A few months back I took a cab and driver wanted to switch off AC because he wasn’t feeling well. As a good human being, I asked him to turn it off. Why can’t passengers have a separate AC?
Safety is another concern, why cab need child lock?
In some cabs, I have seen a panic button. I think it should come as a default in all cabs and should go to the near PCR, police station or may be to a centralized system.
Privacy? Well sorry no privacy. Why can’t there be a partition between the driver and passenger? Like yellow cabs in NewYork?
In-cab industry, there are already few benchmark taxis around the world. TX4 is the perfect example. But in India and Singapore, I see none of the automobile companies tried to understand the entire ecosystem of the driver and passenger, design based on both users needs.
None of the cars are designed for cab purposes in India.
I hope one day our automobile companies will understand and design one keeping in mind the purpose 🙂