Engadget: Samsung files for patent on safe taxi service, we hope we never fully test it
Anyone who often relies on taxi service to get around, as good as it can be, has likely had a driver who was less than courteous — and in the worst cases, outright scary. Samsung wants to keep passengers safe, and drivers honest, through a just-published patent application for an end-to-end taxi service. On a basic level, it’s a taxi finder with a rating system: the mobile app in the patent can hail a nearby cab based on the driver’s “kindness” rating and verify that it’s the right vehicle with a short-range wireless link, not unlike an even more genteel version of Uber. It’s when passengers hop inside that Samsung’s implementation takes on a more distinct shape. If the driver puts customers or the whole cab in danger, a passenger-activated SOS mode flags the car’s location to get the police on the scene before it’s too late. We don’t know how likely Samsung is to implement such a system, although it has been actively developing more advanced backseat technology and filed the US patent in February, a year after its Korean equivalent. We do know this is one of the few patents we’d rather not completely experience first-hand — the only crazy taxis we’re comfortable with sit inside game consoles.