- A new ride-hailing app for taxis, xooox, has launched in the United Kingdom, according to the AP. Riders can search for any taxis in their area based on a variety of criteria including the fare, estimated arrival time, vehicle size, trunk space and vehicle emissions — not just nearest location. The app reportedly has wider geographical coverage than other taxi apps and is considered a one-stop shop for passengers across the U.K.
- The app provides greater control for taxi drivers because they are allowed to set their own fares, and any of the U.K.'s 400,000 licensed drivers can use the app for free with no commission charges. Drivers also see a real-time map of all passengers searching for rides and they can choose their own work, instead of the app dictating which passengers to pick up.
- Taxi regulators, such as local authorities, will get free access to a real-time map of vehicles and can check whether those drivers are properly licensed to operate in that jurisdiction.
xooox presents a different ride-hailing solution than most others on the market. Although a few others also are specifically for taxis, this one is universal and provides features that others do not.
The app provides passengers with more choices for their trips by searching for taxi criteria that matters most to them. It also offers greater insight and control for cities or taxi regulators to ensure drivers are operating within legal confines. Traditional ride-hailing services have had some battles with service providers over data access; one of the most widely cited spats in San Francisco, where city leaders penalized Uber and Lyft for refusing to turn over the trip data the city requested. The new app's regulatory protections also improve safety because passengers can report a driver to authorities with a simple screen tap.
xooox competes with ride-hailing on another often complained about topic: driver treatment. Ride-hailing companies have ongoing conflicts over driver pay and benefits, even resulting in a driver strike in a number of U.S. cities last week. For years taxi drivers also have bemoaned the fact that they can't compete with ride-hailing services because their fares are set by regulatory bodies. The flexibility and driver-forward concept of xooox has the potential to improve the workday and quality of life for taxi drivers in addition to benefiting regulators and passengers.