The concept of Uber has been a reason for both excitement and controversy over the past few years. However, there is an interesting trend taking place, as local government officials are looking to create their own version of Uber. In the state of California, Flywheel is an application that will make taxis work like Uber and effectively replaces the whole cab riding experience.
Flywheel Turns Taxis Into Uber… Sort of
There are different factors that make Uber so popular compared to traditional cab hailing. First and foremost, Uber drivers are regular people, who are not necessarily trained to transport people from place A to place B. Secondly, payments are completed, without involving any human interaction. Last but not least, cab rides are far more expensive.
All of that is coming to a change in the state of California though, now that the local regulators greenlighted the Flywheel application. Or to be more precise, Flywheel will bring its “TaxiOS” technology to cab owners, allowing to revamp the whole cab riding experience. Gone are the advertising systems and credit card readers, as well as their navigation systems.
Similar to how Uber works, TaxiOS will only require the cab driver to possess a smartphone with Internet-connectivity. Fares for every cab ride can be split between passengers, to promote carpooling. In addition, payments can be made from within the app itself, either when the passenger books their ride, or once the driver is ready to drop them off.
By revamping the cab ride experience, California hopes to bring the fight to competitors Uber and Lyft. Both of those companies have been making a name for themselves simply because they did not rely on outdated agreements and hardware requirements to let people use the service.
It is important to note that, even though Flywheel can be used legally for the time being, the company has only been approved to operate for one full year. That being said, full type certification is pending, and the outcome will be decided by the end of next year. Considering how the Flywheel field trial was a great success, obtaining full type certification shouldn’t be much of a problem.
No Word on Bitcoin Integration Yet
As enticing and exciting as the e-hail app market is in the United States, Bitcoin users are waiting anxiously to find out which company will be the first to pull the trigger on accepting digital currency payments. Accepting Bitcoin through these e-hail apps would not only be beneficial to the digital currency community, but it would alleviate a lot of the stress associated with traditional payment methods.
Credit cards are still subject to high transaction fees, which take a cut out of the driver’s earnings. Bitcoin payments, on the other hand, are subject to a transaction fee paid by the sender, not the recipient. It would only make sense for companies such as Flywheel to accept Bitcoin payments sooner rather than later before any of its competitors does so.
Source: The Verge