Cabbies in this part of England can now prove to customers that they are driving a licensed vehicle.
This week, QR codes were introduced into Cheltenham, England’s taxis and private rental vehicles to help passengers to know that they are not riding in a car with a faked license.
The program by the borough council is also designed to help to promote improved overall public safety.
At the same time as a new type of “no smoking” sticker has been added to the cabs and other types of public hire vehicles that are available in Cheltenham, there will also be printed QR codes stickers in the vehicle that can be scanned by riders using their smartphones or tablets. Each barcode is unique and will link to the public access record of that specific vehicle, and will provide the name of its owner as well as its license plate, so that the rider can verify that everything is as it should be in terms of licensing.
The QR codes were chosen because they are cost effective and can easily be used by passengers, for free.
According to cabinet member for development and safety, Counselor Andrew McKinlay, “This scheme is being rolled out as part of the approved changes to our taxi and private hire licensing policy.” He added that as QRcode technology is a type of tech that is available for free, then there is no additional cost applied to the license holders. He feels that as “no smoking” stickers are already required to be displayed within the licensed vehicles in Cheltenham, “this is a better use of that requirement.”
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McKinlay also pointed out that the majority of people already have smartphone with them most of the time, and can therefore conveniently make use of the quick response codes in order to ensure that they are traveling in a vehicle that has been properly licensed. It also gives them the opportunity to be able to locate and retain important information about that vehicle so that it can be identified in case they accidentally leave any of their possessions behind or they would like to make a complaint about the service that they received.
QR codes are becoming increasingly commonplace in taxis around the world, for this very purpose. A recent announcement had also been made from Beijing, stating that its own taxis would be adding these barcodes for passengers to scan.