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Samsung files for patent on safe taxi service, we hope we never fully test it

Jon Fingas , @jonfingas
08.09.12
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Anyone who often relies on taxi service to get around, as good as it can be, has likely had a driver who was less than courteous -- and in the worst cases, outright scary. Samsung wants to keep passengers safe, and drivers honest, through a just-published patent application for an end-to-end taxi service. On a basic level, it's a taxi finder with a rating system: the mobile app in the patent can hail a nearby cab based on the driver's "kindness" rating and verify that it's the right vehicle with a short-range wireless link, not unlike an even more genteel version of Uber. It's when passengers hop inside that Samsung's implementation takes on a more distinct shape. If the driver puts customers or the whole cab in danger, a passenger-activated SOS mode flags the car's location to get the police on the scene before it's too late. We don't know how likely Samsung is to implement such a system, although it has been actively developing more advanced backseat technology and filed the US patent in February, a year after its Korean equivalent. We do know this is one of the few patents we'd rather not completely experience first-hand -- the only crazy taxis we're comfortable with sit inside game consoles.