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Taxi tracking

In 2008, taxi advertising companies in London began offering 'audience solution packages' according to the general locations in which taxis operate. For example, advertisers were able to select 'Business and Finance Packages' advertising to business people working in the Financial District and Canary Wharf and 'Entertainment Packages' advertising to an 'entertainment audience' composed of those visiting music venues, theatres and bars.

Ubiquitous believed that, in reality, taxis go anywhere according to the fares they collect and the customer's destination. They asked us to help prove it.

We fitted 20 Ubiquitous taxis with GPS devices which recorded movement for the duration of the working shifts over 5 or 6 days. The devices log the specific position of each taxi every five seconds.

Drivers were also asked to complete a diary containing a number of general questions, as well as some that they had to answer when the GPS device was collecting data.

In order to ensure that the driver's home location had no affect on the routes taken, 4 drivers were recruited from South London, 6 from West London and 5 from both North and East London.

As expected the data showed that taxis do indeed go everywhere, covering vast distances across London.