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Dubai taxis to be fitted with Makani mapping app



If you’ve ever found yourself in a cab without the luxury of Google Maps on your phone, you’ll know how difficult it can be to find your destination. The good news is that it’s now going to be much easier. There are now 4,500 Dubai taxis fitted with the Makani mapping app, according to the Roads and Transports Authority (RTA).

Adel Shakri, director of Transportation Systems, RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said: “Thanks to the sharp accuracy and the easy use of ‘Makani’ System as well as its 100 percent coverage of Dubai, the system has played a vital role in executing booking and dispatch orders by cab drivers.

“It has made it easy for clients to reach to their intended destinations in Dubai, thanks to its highly accurate positioning feature using interactive e-maps.”

“Makani” – an Arabic word meaning “my location” – includes around 137,000 addresses across Dubai, meaning that booking a taxi should be much easier.

The system will reduce the number of complaints regarding lack of location knowledge and late arrival.

This comes after news that the RTA unveiled its five-year strategy, aiming to increase its fleet by 38 percent and improve the conduct of cab drivers. This is in-line with the projected increase in demand for taxis when Dubai hosts Expo 2020.

The number of cabs is set to increase from 5,046 in 2016 to 7,000 in 2020. The number of limos will go up by a whopping 240 percent, increasing from 146 to 500.

Transport of the future

This isn’t the only innovation in transport set for Dubai. In July of 2016 car booking app Careem announced plans to introduce self-driving electric pods to the region, which can be used individually or linked to form a bus-shaped vehicle allowing passengers to move from one pod to another. Each pod will be able to take six seated and ten standing passengers.

According to reports, Careem signed a partnership with NEXT Future Transportation Inc. These environmentally electric pods will be available on-demand but are able to operate as a mass transportation system.

“As the pioneering operators of the finest taxi fleet in the UAE, we are acutely aware of the ground realities of intra-city and inter-city transport,” said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and managing director of Careem.

“While serving the immediate needs of the region, we are also cognizant of the importance of innovating for a greener and more delightful future. NEXT offers a unique and compelling vision for mass transit,” he added.

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