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Free wifi installed for passengers in Tokyo taxis


The taxi has often been a source of inspiration for innovative ideas. We’ve seen one-passenger cabs designed to cut down on fuel consumption, taxis you can hail via your mobile, and free pedal-powered taxis in Dublin. But now Japanese mobile operator DoCoMo has decided to tackle another inconvenience facing taxi passengers. Non-Japanese speaking travelers arriving in Japan from abroad often find it impossible to strike up conversation with their taxi drivers — the majority of whom can only speak Japanese. To address the silence facing passengers sharing a ride with a driver who can’t speak their language, DoCoMo has installed free wifi in 820 Tokyo-based black sedans, with extra Sony PSP consoles in 100 of them. Of course, the technology isn’t just for the benefit of visitors to Japan, but also for residents preferring to go online rather than converse with the driver. The wifi enabled cabs can be clearly identified by red stickers on the doors, and the fleet is due to launch fully this March. Despite the increasing ubiquity of smartphones and wifi hotspots, connectivity does remain an issue for travelers on the move. How can you cater to data-hungry travelers in your neck of the woods? (Related: Connecting airline travellers for a shared cabNationwide taxi booking & payment via mobile phone.) Spotted: Dmitry Maevsky



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