Sensors Uncork Airport Taxi Bottlenecks

It has been my experience that regardless of the airport, you get off the plane, pick up your luggage, and follow the signs to or ask an airport employee where the taxi port is, you go there, wait your turn, and get in a cab. The longest I’ve ever waited for a cab, even in some of the busiest airports, was about eight minutes.

Apparently, people arriving at San Diego International Airport are not as lucky. Addressing customer complaints about taxi wait times, the authorities began exploring technologies that could collect real-time data on taxi wait times. Basically, there was a need to accurately collect real-time and historical wait time data.

The solution they settled on comes by way of Denmark. BlipTrack from BLIP Systems uses an array of sensors to monitor taxi flow and provides waiting time information on a historical and real-time basis. Using the data, airport personnel can manage taxi resources on a per-day basis.

BlipTrack sensors are passive and automatically detects mobile devices with enabled Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This requires no interaction from the travelers. Knowledge of the flow and location of travelers provides the data that will allow the airport to direct taxis to prospective passengers more efficiently and faster. JFK and Brussels Airports have also adopted the solution to improve their taxi rank performance.

With three airports on board with BlipTrack, it is a system still in its infancy. But apparently, it works. I am sure it beats the analog method of hailing a cab and it is good to know the next time I’m at San Diego International or JFK I won’t have to wait eight minutes for a cab. ~MD

BLIP Systems A/S

Hækken 2, Vester Hassing

DK-9310 Vodskov

Phone: +45 98258200

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