NYC cabs will test app-based system to challenge Uber

Around 7,000 NYC cabs are currently beta testing a new e-hail app called Arro, which the industry hopes can help it get back the customers it's lost to Uber. Arro isn't the first hailing app for cabs -- it actually works quite similarly to Uber -- but the startup believes it can do better than its predecessors. Why? Because; (a) it doesn't have surge pricing, meaning you'll just have to pay whatever shows up on the meter, and (b) it has a partnership with Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT). That's the company that controls the video screens and payment systems in about half of the 20,000 green and yellow cabs in the city.

When you launch the app to call a cab, a driver nearby sees your name and location on his TV screen, and you'll be sent his name and medallion number, in turn. Since the app saves your credit card details just like Uber does, you can also use it to pay the fare and tip the cabbie. The system will be active in all CMT cabs by the time the service officially launches in about two weeks. Arro is also currently working to forge a partnership with VeriFone Systems, the company that controls the screens and payment systems in the other half of NYC's taxis.

While Arro will only work in NYC on launch, the startup plans to expand its services to San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago and Boston in the near future. If you're in NYC, you can go to Arro's website to request an invitation, so you can download it (for either iOS or Android devices) and see if it really can give Uber a run for its money.