Location-based technology aids black cab launch

Consumers will soon be able to hail a taxi by dialling a code on their mobile phone, in what is to become the first commercial use of 'location-based' technology.

The service, branded Zingo, launches at the end of the month and will be promoted using branded sandwich bags, text messaging and direct marketing mailouts to taxi drivers.

Customers dial a national rate number that will identify their location and the nearest available black cab. Calls are directed to the driver's mobile to arrange the pick-up. Location-based technology pinpoints the customer while the global positioning satellite system identifies for-hire cabs.

The roll-out follows three years of trials of the service. Black cab manufacturer Manganese Bronze Holdings has pumped £8m into the venture.

Its proposition also has a safety element in that women do not need to go out on the street at night to hail a cab.

Design agency G2 has created ads, while Zenith will plan and buy media.

Wireless marketing will be handled by Enpocket and Propaganda will find product placement opportunities.

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