In a world of subway shutdowns and Uber's price gouging, TaxiTV has come to feel like a minor transit evil. Yes, its "Bleep Bloop!" triggers a fiery pavlovian rage in all of us, but stabbing the mute button with your pointer finger is all it takes to enjoy a peaceful trip (usually!). On the other hand, if you were feeling lonely on your ride home, TaxiTV was there to keep you company with almost-up-to-date sports and news, and Sigur Ros!
Whether you kind of don't mind it or truly, deeply despise it, TaxiTV seems to be coming to an end. The Daily News reports that the Taxi and Limousine Commission along with Verifone (which rolled out TaxiTV in 2007) will begin experimenting with smart tablets in the backseat of taxis, giving riders access to a variety of apps that make it possible to make restaurant reservations and stream music while in transit. The 10-inch Android tablets could begin appearing by the end of the year.
“I like to think of this as a dashboard for your taxi ride," Jason Gross, Verifone's head of product and marketing for taxi systems, told the News. "It may just be the information you want or need to understand where you’re going, how much it’s costing, but it also gives you some tools."
The TLC toyed with the idea of in-car smart tablets as far back as 2012, when it was reported that iPads sporting Square credit card reader devices were gunning for TaxiTV's turf. Verifone fought against the change, and has now apparently co-opted the idea in a move to retain backseat glowing rectangle supremacy.
“What we’re really hoping to do is partner with the Googles, the OpenTables, the Pandoras of the world and allow the marketplace to determine what consumers want to do,” Gross told the News, confirming that the change to tablets is first and foremost a revenue-oriented ploy to get us to use the same internet we already pay for on our phones on a tablet inside a Toyota Camry that costs $2.50 per mile.