New algorithm allows goCatch users to predict taxi arrival time

- March 31, 2014 < 1 MIN READ

Back in the good ol’ days, we’d have to stand aside a road and keep our eyes open for a vacant taxi driving by. When we spot one, we frantically wave our hands to capture the attention of the driver. Today, we can book taxis through the convenience of a mobile app, but there’s still no guarantee whether the taxi will arrive on time. This inconvenience hadn’t been eliminated. Until now.

Taxi booking startup, goCatch, has just announced a major update to their mobile application – now providing taxi passengers with greater certainty about when they can expect their next cab to arrive. In what they describe to be “a technological, algorithmic breakthrough”, goCatch’s software developers have been able to build a colour-coded alert system for passengers that accurately predicts relative busy-ness at the time they’re booking a taxi.

There are four different levels of busy-ness in the new colour-coded system: NORMAL, HIGH, VERY HIGH and CRAZY.

Untitled design (5)“It provides passengers with an extra layer of information which is crucial in the booking process. Booking a cab is all about certainty. Passengers want to know that their booking has been accepted and when their cab will arrive. Now we can alert them before they book about what conditions are like and how easy or difficult it will be to source a taxi,” said goCatch Co-Founder Andrew Campbell in the media release.

“[W]e think that giving people this information improves the process of catching a cab. If it is very busy goCatch passengers have the option to post a tip to encourage quicker pickup.”

The app is available to download from Android, iOS and BlackBerry app stores.

Image credit: Danny Aarons