HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dexter Cadiente has driven a taxicab since the '90s. But the new dispatch system he's using in his Charley's Taxi is definitely 21st century.
"It's very simple to use. It's like using an ATM machine," he said.
Charley's spent $850,000 on cab computers that connect to an automated dispatch program. Instead of radio chatter, dispatchers enter orders into the system.
Canadian company Mentor Engineering produced the product called IntelliFleet.
"Once the call taker takes that call it goes into the software and then matches it to an available car that's nearby, as quickly as possible," Mentor Engineering lead engineer Martin Winter said.
Winter said drivers will get to passengers faster, waste less fuel, and increase the time they have customers in their cars.
"Our problem is supply. We don't have enough cars. So the only way I could increase their productivity was to make them more efficient," Charley's president Dale Evans said.
IntelliFleet has a built in GPS, emergency call buttons, a cab meter and satellite system that tracks every taxi in real time.
"You could be in Waipahu. You could be in Ewa Beach. Or you could be on the other side of the island," Cadiente said.
"We are combining all the technologies, telephone, two-way radios, computers, GPS," Evans said.
This is Charley's first venture into computerized dispatching and Cadiente is catching on.
"We would save money, save on fuel, save time," he said.
So far Charley's installed the IntelliFleet system in 60 vehicles. Eventually it will be in all 200 in the company's fleet.