On September 5th New York City taxi drivers might go on strike over GPS tracking technology citing privacy concerns. But not all taxi drivers share this opinion. Some of them are making a totally different use of this technology; one that is helping them generate some additional income during their daily shifts.
Mexens Technology, a New York-based startup, recently introduced a program that lets drivers all around the world earn additional revenue simply by having a piece of software run on their mobile phones while they drive. This software is called Navizon. It is a positioning system that uses Wi-Fi and cell towers to help people find their way as opposed to traditional satellite signals for the GPS. It relies on a database of wireless beacons built by the users themselves. And the company offers a monetary incentive to people who contribute data to the system: every cell tower that Navizon users pass, every Wi-Fi access point that they log means money in their pocket.
"Using Navizon has been tremendously beneficial to me," declares Sahil, a New York City taxi driver. "In addition to helping me find my way, it has turned my cell phone into a second taxi meter," he continued.
This additional revenue provided by this program can be substantial given the tight margins left to taxi drivers at the end of their work-week. "Drivers using Navizon on their cell phone connected to a GPS device can generate up to $100 a week in additional income with virtually no effort," says Cyril Houri, founder and CEO of Mexens Technology.
Whether they decide to go on strike or not on September 5th, Navizon says it will help taxi drivers make peace with GPS technology.