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WiFi taxis coming to London

Passengers in London taxis may soon be able to surf the internet while sitting in the city's notoriously bad traffic, thanks to a new advertising technology to be rolled out this year.

travel Updated: Oct 15, 2011 19:04 IST
AFP

Passengers in London taxis may soon be able to surf the internet while sitting in the city's notoriously bad traffic, thanks to a new advertising technology to be rolled out this year. 

Following a pilot test scheduled to begin later this year, thousands of the city's iconic black cabs could be fitted with free high-speed internet connections ahead of the Olympic Games, allowing international visitors to easily check their email or send messages while visiting the British capital.

The connections are part of a new suite of technology provided by London-based tech startup Eyetease Media, which builds on the roof advertising used on New York's yellow cabs.

Instead of static posters, the 'iTaxitop' system uses a futuristic digital screen to show moving adverts, which can be customized depending on the location of the cab.

The first black cab fitted with the technology will be trialed in November, the report said, with plans in place to install the screens on up to 5,000 taxis by the time the London 2012 Olympic Games open next summer.

London has traditionally lagged behind New York when it comes to technology in taxis although some black cabs are fitted with televisions, they rarely boast the touchscreen, wifi-enabled systems installed in many of New York's cabs.

However, it may not be too long before other cities boast wi-fi enabled cabs -- Eyetease Media's Richard Corbett told Relaxnews that there has been "overwhelming international interest" in the technology, with potential partnerships in the USA, Canada, Sweden and Spain in the pipeline.