GPS taximeters: Good concept, bad plan. -Fred Stock

The question comes up again and again, "If I can get a GPS system which tells me exactly where I am, why can't that technology go into my taximeter, so I don't have to screw it down permanently into my dashboard, and make all those complex connections and wire routes?" Short answer, it COULD but...

The Weights and Measures people tell me the taximeter must be within 1% accuracy. That's been the standard for a very long time. It has protected the public from unfair charges, while building confidence in our industry. With the new technologies - specifically Global Positioning Satellite technology - it may feel as though you have exceptional accuracy, but that is legally no more accurate than 3%... outside tolerance for our purposes. It also has a shortcoming: The Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 or the Holland Tunnel between Jersey and Manhattan on 495 or those on Highway 101. Your GPS stops working there. That means the client's display is wrong for a few moments, defeating the purpose of the meter. There are also "user" considerations: With meters permanently fixed in a vehicle and sealed by the weights and measures people (or their equivalent), the meter is not traveling from vehicle to vehicle. This situation could invite abuse.

Technology is ALWAYS evolving. Rules that have worked for decades will fall to black-box gadgets which pass the standards many times over. I fully expect GPS meters to jump on the scene in the future. But NOT today. Just as you cannot use your ODOMETER because of calibration differences and error factors, you cannot use a meter in one car today, a different one tomorrow, and perhaps another the next. People have used Velcro and batteries and Cigarette Lighter Plugs and tried to rig up bluetooth gadgets for I don't know what-all. Don't do it. The law won't allow it.

Cutting corners and/or inventing " a way to use my meter in any car" as I have heard folks say, isn't wise because of regulations themselves. You stand to have your driving privelege revoked, a hefty fine, or loss of your equipment in some places. Not a good plan. -fhs