A taxicab, also known as a taxi or a cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice. This differs from other modes of public transport where the pick-up and drop-off locations are determined by the service provider, not by the passenger, although demand responsive transport and share taxis provide a hybrid bus/taxi mode.
Electric battery-powered taxis became available at the end of the 19th century. In London, Walter C. Bersey designed a fleet of such cabs and introduced them to the streets of London in 1897. They were soon nicknamed 'Hummingbirds’ due to the idiosyncratic humming noise they made. In the same year in New York City, the Samuel's Electric Carriage and Wagon Company began running 12 electric hansom cabs. The company ran until 1898 with up to 62 cabs operating until it was reformed by its financiers to form the Electric Vehicle Company.
The modern taximeter was invented and perfected by a trio of German inventors; Wilhelm Friedrich Nedler, Ferdinand Dencker and Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Bruhn. The Daimler Victoria—the world's first gasoline-powered taximeter-cab—was built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1897 and began operating in Stuttgart in 1897. Gasoline-powered taxicabs began operating in Paris in 1899, in London in 1903, and in New York in 1907. The New York taxicabs were imported from France by Harry N. Allen who decided to paint his taxicabs yellow to maximise his vehicles' visibility.
Taxicabs proliferated around the world in the early 20th century. The first major innovation after the invention of the taximeter occurred in the late 1940s, when two-way radios first appeared in taxicabs. Radios enabled taxicabs and dispatch offices to communicate and serve customers more efficiently than previous methods, such as using callboxes. The next major innovation occurred in the 1980s, when computer assisted dispatching was first introduced.
Source: Taxicab from Wikipedia
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