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California approves Flywheel's attempt at modernizing taxis

Taxi drivers in the Golden State can use a Flywheel app instead of old-school meters.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 22, 2015
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Flywheel's plan to bring taxis into the 21st century just got the all clear. California regulators have approved TaxiOS, the smartphone-based Flywheel platform that lets cabbies ditch their clunky conventional meters in favor of GPS and other modern luxuries. While the company had been limited to trying out its software in just 70 San Francisco cabs, this lets it expand to virtually everywhere in the state. All 200-plus Flywheel-badged San Francisco cabs will be using TaxiOS by February, and it won't be surprising if its other Californian coverage areas (currently Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego) follow suit.

This is really just a stepping stone, for that matter. Flywheel is aiming for New York City approval in early 2016, and the goal is to spread TaxiOS "across the country." If it's successful (it faces stiff competition from rivals like Verifone), it could become the de facto platform for taxi services hoping to fend off ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber. Whether or not it's victorious, that's good for everyone -- you won't have to turn to ridesharing just to get the latest creature comforts.

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