Taxi! Calling a cab at the touch of a button

02.10.2019 by Ümit Günes
Image composition with the Taxiklingel in foreground and a cab in background

What’s the fastest way to call a cab: a phone or an app? Actually, there’s an even easier way for hotels and restaurants to order a taxi for their guests: simply push a button. The new IoT solution is a convenient innovation saving passengers, service personnel and taxi dispatchers lots of time.

You’ve checked out of your hotel room and your bags are stacked neatly in the lobby next to the front door. The only thing you’re waiting for is a taxi to the airport. But the clerk at the reception is busy with other guests. Of course, there are other taxi apps allowing customers to call a cab on their own if they have Internet access. But there’s an easier way: Just push a button at the front desk – and soon a driver will be on the way to the hotel. Called a taxi bell, or Taxiklingel in German, this solution is based on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ringing Instead of Calling

The new technology has the greatest benefits for services involving a high level of customer traffic. Gastronomy, hotels, hospitals or corporate events, for example, order a countless number of cabs each day – for their customers, clients and visitors. But a simple push of a physical button can save a lot time otherwise spent making telephone calls and calling up a smartphone app. And that goes for employees, passengers and even the taxi companies.

Thanks to the digital cab-hailing service from Deutsche Telekom and the taxi broker best.ways, searching in vain for local taxi numbers, waiting on hold or struggling to give directions over the phone to a driver is no longer necessary. If a Taxiklingel with IoT technology is attached to the counter of a bar, restaurant or hotel, a single push of a button is enough. The order then automatically finds its way via Telekom's NarrowBand-IoT network into its IoT platform the Cloud of Things. Each digital call button is equipped with a SIM card. This means the smart solution doesn’t require an Internet connection, such access to a hotel’s WiFI. Another advantage of the technology? Thanks to NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT), the intelligent button can also be used reliably in basements and through thick walls. What's more, the button doesn’t just order a taxi. It can also sends confirmation as soon as a driver has accepted the call and is on his way to the waiting passenger.

Automated Taxi Dispatch

An authenticated admin server inside Telekom’s Cloud of Things automatically receives a data set and compares it with a database. A dispatch system then transmits the order with all relevant data to a nearby taxi driver, enabling her to set off immediately.

But the new digital technology doesn’t just save time for passengers. "The Taxiklingel IoT application really takes a lot of pressure off our headquarters," says Ralph Brück, Managing Director at best.ways GmbH. The employees at the best.ways call center no longer have to receive the digitally generated orders themselves, since they automatically are paired with a free taxi. "That way, our employees can get to the calls of other customers faster," says Brück.

Admin via Smartphone App

Operation of the Taxiklingel has been designed to be fast and simple. These networked devices can be managed, assigned and configured via the Internet using a smartphone app. This program gives users an overview of all their IoT devices and they can assign specific locations or companies to individual Taxiklingel units, as well as activate and deactivate specific buttons. Stats for the call buttons, such as usage times and overall click rates, are also part of the service and can be exported to other applications.

The Taxiklingel is a variant of Telekom's IoT Service Button. The plug-and-play solution can be used for many applications: BMW, for example, has deployed the button for internal logistics at its Leipzig plant (video) to accelerate and automate ordering processes.


 

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Ümit Günes
Ümit Günes

Marketing Manager IoT

Ümit has been working at T-Systems since 2015 and knows a great deal about many facets of the Internet of Things. He is particularly interested in topics related to the digitalization of the business world. For the blog, he reports on new developments and trends in the IoT world that offer real added value for customers.