x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Need a taxi in Dubai? Shake your smartphone

The new SmartTaxi application released on Tuesday by the Roads and Transport Authority means users need not make a call but just activate the app and wave the phone as if hailing a cab.

The Smart Taxi application will be available free of charge from next week for the Android platform. Christopher Pike / The National
The Smart Taxi application will be available free of charge from next week for the Android platform. Christopher Pike / The National

DUBAI // Calling to order a taxi? How quaintly old fashioned. Now you can just shake your smartphone instead.

With the new SmartTaxi application, released on Tuesday, passengers need not make a call but just activate the app and wave their phone as if hailing a cab.

The application will use GPS to determine the passenger’s location and send the information to the dispatch system, which will then give the customer a booking number.

Dispatch will then assign the closest taxi and provide the passenger with the taxi number and driver information.

While waiting, passengers can monitor the taxi’s progress on a live map.

“Our aim is always to make things easier and increase the happiness of the people of Dubai,” said Abdullah Al Madani of the Roads and Transport Authority.

The free app is available now in the Google Play store for the Android platform and is coming to the Apple App Store for iPhone users next week. Once you install the app, you will be asked to create a profile.

Advance booking will be added to its functions by early July.

Passengers who use the app will not pay extra. “The same charges in place for taxi dispatch will be applied — there are no new charges for using the app.” said Dr Youssef Al Ali, chief executive of the Public Transport Agency.

All 8,997 taxis in Dubai’s five taxi fleets are covered by the application.

There were more than 175 million passenger journeys in taxis in Dubai last year. Another 295 taxis will take to the roads next week.

malkhan@thenational.ae