Whenever I board a taxi I end up observing taxi drivers and cars.
In developing nations, the taxi market is growing and every automobile company is in the race to attract cab buyers. Thanks to the taxi 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 taxi purposes. Just to make it look like a taxi sometimes they reduced the features and opened for taxi market considering buys are generally price-conscious. The black bumper is a great example here.
The reality was in developing nations when a car model failed to attract personal buyers; then they opened for the taxi market. In India, examples are Indica, Logan/Verito, Etios, etc. There are a few exceptions here.
- by Mordor intelligence
- by Business of Apps
- by Vulcan Post
Nope, most of the time I have seen drivers carrying 2 phones. One on the mobile holder and one will be lying on the seat. Water bottle, diary, parking slips, charging cables, etc. Overall that driver area always looked messy to me. I feel pity for the 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 taxi and the 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 do cabs need a 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 maybe to a centralized system.
Well sorry no privacy. Why can’t there be a partition between the driver and passenger? Like yellow cabs in New York?
In the taxi industry, there are already a 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.
COVID forced all taxi operators to rethink the safety of passengers and drivers. It's not anymore about just hiring drivers with good backgrounds and polite attitudes. It's beyond just having good etiquette. It's more around keeping the passenger and driver separate from transferring the virus to each other. To provide a quick solution to keep passengers and drivers separate, they started installing a plastic sheet that divides the car into two compartments: driver and passenger.
Now, if we look at this is not a new solution. Taxi's in New York and London had separate compartments for passengers and drivers for the past few decades. Having a partition is one of the mandates there because of so many other reasons. But during covid, they at least had a solution which was already part of the car.
In the taxi industry, there are already a few benchmark taxis around the world. TX4 is the perfect example. But in most of the other counties, I see none of the automobile companies tried to take inspiration from TX4 and understand the entire ecosystem of the driver and passenger, design based on both users' needs.
I hope next time when you take a taxi you observe the driver and passenger area. If you are interested in automobile design, I’ll be happy to discuss and share my thoughts about it.
- Henry Cloud