Sydney start-up signs deal with Telstra to deliver digital billboards on taxis

Digital billboards will start appearing on the back of taxis nationally as part of a new deal between Telstra and Sydney start-up Cab Digital Media.

The new devices, known as TaxiLive, will deliver safety messages and advertisements, which can be tailored to location, time of day and weather.

TaxiLive devices will be seen across Sydney today

The three year old business partnership began with the creation of an Internet of Things (IoT) product, which utilises the Telstra’s network coverage to tailor advertisements and messaging.

Currently, advertisements from brands including Channel Ten and Telstra appear on the digital billboards.

The eventual aim is to partner with roadside authorities and use Telstra’s GPS data to contribute to transport, infrastructure and congestion reduction plans.

From April 1, more than 300 cabs will be fitted with TaxiLive billboards Sydney, with that number to accelerate to 945 by November this year.

Najeeb Aftab, co-founder and head of sales and partnerships at Cab Digital Media, described the billboards as some of the “smartest” in the world.

“The solution was originally built to display safety messaging, for example accident alerts, traffic updates and weather warnings, but we found the applications for the media and advertising industry, where you can specifically target consumers based on location or time of day, are also very advantageous,” Aftab said.

“With the right data, we may be able to look at things like which taxi ranks are over-populated and under- serviced to ensure better taxi availability, particularly in areas such as hospitals and locations with a higher proportion of elderly and disabled people.”

Martijn Blanken, group managing director of customer management and sales, Telstra Enterprise, said TaxiLive was an example of how technology and IoT can create smarter communities.

“Telstra’s IoT team has worked with Cab Digital Media’s engineering team for the last two years to co- create TaxiLive. Inside each TaxiLive is essentially an advanced computer with in-built GPS that is connected via Telstra’s mobile network,” Blanken said.


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