Thousands of taxi drivers in the Chinese city of Xi’an are now being verified by facial recognition technology when they get behind the wheel. And, true to the country’s security ethos, they’re also being monitored constantly by an AI system to ensure they aren’t engaging in prohibited activities such as smoking or using a smartphone while driving.
This is in part the result of a methanol-driven upgrade plan for taxi fleets in China, which has opened the door for the integration of new IT equipment into cabs. Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings is a provider of such technologies, and has announced that its KanKan-AI system is now being used in over 2,000 taxis in Xi’an. The technology provides the functionality described above, and also facilitates other capabilities such as displaying navigation information for passengers and enabling mobile payments based on QR codes.
Remark Holdings says its deployments in Xi’an are expected to result in about a million dollars in revenue “when fully recognized,” the company said in a statement. And it’s looking to expand further: Remark Holdings CEO Kai-Sing Tao says his firm has received “positive feedback” from taxi operators in Xi’an, and that this is leading to new growth opportunities in the municipalities of Guiyang and Chongqing, both of which offer “an addressable market of 25,000 vehicles and an additional revenue opportunity of more than $10 million.”
June 12, 2019 – by Alex Perala