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HP, CityCab and Ericsson Plan to Transform Taxicab Experience for CityCab Passengers and Drivers
Mobile e-Services Initiative Expected to Revolutionize Cab Experience
PALO ALTO, Calif., June 19, 2001
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP), CityCab Pte Ltd and Ericsson today announced plans to implement a mobile solution called "Project Escalade" and to equip CityCab taxis in Singapore with mobile devices to bring a wireless, interactive experience to passengers and taxi drivers. This project is a first for Singapore, with potential global rollout in the next few years.
The three companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement Project Escalade, representing a total investment of over U.S.$5.5 million and intended to transform the operations at CityCab as well as revolutionize the customer experience. With about 9,800 drivers operating a fleet of 5,000 vehicles, CityCab is one of the largest taxi operators in the world. The initiative's pilot phase is expected to involve 500 CityCab taxis before the end of the year.
Transforming the Commuting Experience
With the help of mobile e-services, CityCab passengers will be able to surf the Web, send e-mails, check stock prices, catch up on the latest news or even print information such as distance traveled and total fare -- all from the back of a cab using voice activation and wireless technology.
Taxi drivers will be able to use an advanced mobile appliance to access mapping and routing information, accept e-payment options or process booking -- allowing drivers to plan and manage their work anytime, anywhere.
"This ground-breaking project epitomizes HP's vision of mobility, a world where the mobile user experience is transformed by customized, automatically delivered mobile e-services," said Curtis Welcher, general manager, HP Service Provider and Mobile Solutions Division. "HP's infrastructure capabilities, information appliance leadership and mobile e-services expertise make us ideally suited to help CityCab realize Project Escalade."
"This project will propel CityCab into the next stage of mobile technology and further enhance the commuting experience of our customers while radically improving the operational efficiencies of our fleet management," said Lim Hung Siang, chief executive officer, CityCab. "The open standard platform will open the door to numerous other e-services and potential m-commerce opportunities, transforming our company into a service provider in this Internet age."
How Project Escalade Works
HP plans to supply the voice recognition technology that will enable CityCab to automatically process calls from passengers and send the booking order across wireless networks to HP handheld PCs in CityCab taxis. The handheld PCs, which will provide in-vehicle support, will replace CityCab's Mobile Data Terminals to allow CityCab drivers to interactively access mapping and routing information via advanced location-based technology, access taxi statistics updates, utilize voice browsing commands and accept various e-payment options.
A personal area network is created within the taxi that passengers can tap into, even when using their own personal digital appliances. This private network is linked up to other public networks, such as Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), allowing passengers to access various information sources and e-services.
Ericsson, the telecommunications technology provider to the project, plans to develop innovative mobile Internet applications to offer the taxi-related services to support network technologies such as GSM, GPRS and 3G, including location-based technology and Bluetooth capabilities.
"Ericsson is extremely pleased to work with CityCab and HP to deliver innovative and personalized mobile services to CityCab drivers and customers," said Claes Odman, president, Ericsson Singapore. "This momentous alliance between CityCab and Ericsson reflects CityCab's solid confidence in Ericsson as a leader in the mobile technologies. Ericsson's solution will give CityCab customers and drivers more freedom and flexibility, changing the way they commute and do business."
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) played a significant role as a catalyst and facilitator in this project through its Wired With Wireless program. In welcoming this exciting industry collaboration, Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive for IDA, said, "Through the use of open and high-speed wireless access, CityCab will benefit from providing better customer service and management. This is a good example of wireless technology being used as an accelerator for traditional businesses. Such global alliances, between a transport operator like CityCab and leading-edge mobile solutions providers, like HP and Ericsson's Cyberlab, reinforces Singapore's position as a living lab for wireless development in Asia."
Potential expansion of system implementations is expected in China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia through alliances with affiliate transportation companies.
About the Wired With Wireless Program
Initiated by the IDA with the aim to position Singapore as a living lab and business catalyst for wireless developments in Asia, the "Wired With Wireless" program promotes the development of mobile infrastructure, products and services. The three main areas of focus are location-based services, mobile commerce and wireless multimedia.
The objective of the program is to create a vibrant wireless industry and to position Singapore as having the best integrated wireline and wireless infrastructure. This will be accomplished through seven strategic thrusts: thought leadership, manpower development, market access development, technology development, infrastructure and service/product development, industry adoption, and consumer adoption.
CityCab Pte Ltd is a member of the DelGro Group of companies. It officially commenced business on July 1, 1995. With about 9,800 drivers operating a fleet of 5,000 vehicles, CityCab is one of the largest taxi operators in the world.
Ericsson is shaping the future of mobile and broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.
Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services -- is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to all. HP had total revenue from continuing operations of $48.8 billion in its 2000 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hp.com.
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