Flywheel gives taxi drivers an Uber-like app of their own

Flywheel has helped drag taxis into the modern era through app-based hailing. However, that modernization usually stops in the cab itself -- your driver's gear is antiquated next to the phone-based tech in a Lyft or Uber car. Taxis are about to catch up, though. Flywheel has launched TaxiOS, a platform that replaces the dispatch, meter, navigation and payment systems with phone-based software. It not only streamlines the overall experience for both you and the driver (no matter how you're paying), but marks the first instance of GPS-based metering in licensed taxis. In theory, you're getting both a more accurate fare and fewer rude surprises.

TaxiOS is just in a pilot phase right now, and the eventual launch will only include the handful of cities where Flywheel operates (currently Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle). However, it could play a large role in the effort to modernize cabs and slow the shift toward ridesharing services. After all, an upgraded taxi should have much of the technology you expect these days -- the biggest differences at this point are how and what you pay.