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UK High Court asked to rule if smartphones are taximeters

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London's transport body, the taxi lobby, and Uber are asking the High Court to make a declaration on whether smartphones, used by some private hire drivers, are taximeters.

The case sees the High Court asked to make a declaration on whether smartphones, which use GPS technology and connect to external servers for the calculation of fares, comply with the law on taximeters, which are prohibited in private hire vehicles in London.

The rapid pace at which smartphone-based technology has developed in recent years has led to a need for clarity about what is required in order for apps to comply with the regulatory framework in London, to ensure there is a level playing field for all operators.

TfL's view, on balance, is that the smartphones are not taximeters but that there are clearly arguments to the contrary and there is a significant public interest in resolving the matter definitively. When a judgment is given TfL will apply the law as declared by the High Court.

In addition to the High Court case, TfL is currently holding a consultation on Private Hire regulations, which builds on an initial public consultation that took place in the spring and TfL's ongoing engagement with representatives across the black taxi and Private Hire trades. The consultation, which is aimed at modernising the regulations, presents a number of potential changes to the regulations that had support during the initial consultation and the subsequent engagement process.

TfL is encouraging members of the taxi and private hire trades, businesses and members of the public who use private hire services to respond to the consultation and give their views about which proposals they agree with and which they don't.

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Tags: uber  london  UK