NYC taxis to map out dead zones in mobile network

Darren Murph
D. Murph|12.30.06

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NYC taxis to map out dead zones in mobile network
We've already seen an influx of hybrid vehicles take their places in the mammoth fleet of New York City taxis, and now that the Taxi 2.0 will reportedly sport GPS tracking an built-in televisions, what else is really left to implement? Stockholm-based Ericsson has apparently seized the opportunity in using the random, perpetual motion of NYC's yellow mainstays to better itself (read: make some coin), and has recently received permission from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to install small devices "about the size of a computer modem" into cabs in order to "feed information about signal strength and clarity to engineers." The research, which has already been completed in other areas of the world, is being conducted in the Big Apple on behalf of a yet-to-be-named carrier, and it purportedly hopes to more accurately map out dead zones in mobile phone networks. Currently, "at least one fleet" has signed up to participate, and others could join in considering the royalties that will be paid out for tagging along on those zany routes through the city. Of course, this whole system should be relatively invisible to cab riders, but a continual voice recording of furious (and disconnected) passengers could probably work equally well in pinpointing those dead spots.

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