How Does A Taximeter Work?

April 10, 2017

Taxis have become fastest and most accessible mode of ground transportation. It charges certain amount for the service from you and the fare system may be confusing for you. When you get off the taxi, a driver produces fare details instantly. They do not calculate anything and just hand you a bill. This is due to the device called taximeter that is installed in it (taxi).

Taximeters are electronic devices that show fair fare to the riders. It automatically shows the charge based on established fare rate. The device calculates the travelled distance coupled with waiting time before communicating the fare with the traveler.

The modern taximeter was invented by German Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Bruhn in 1891 and the Daimler Victoria built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1897 was the world’s first taximeter-equipped gasoline powered taxicab.

Taximeter derives its name from French word called taximètre that was modification of the German word Taxameter. The origin can also be linked with Medieval Latin word taxa–tax/charge plus German meter.

Understanding how taximeters work can help you to get at ease when you hire a cab, especially when you are new in a town or city.

Taximeters program needs various inputs such as taxi rates, charges, fees and many other related information. You feed the things like the Initial “flag drop” fee, the amount you charge per mile, what increment of coinage is to be registered (like 25-cents per tenth of a mile), how much to charge for waiting time, etc. Programming also sets up such things as multiple rates if needed, lease time-outs, special circumstances for changing rates, etc. Most meters are quite simple.

Taximeters calculate fare either with respect to distance travelled or time required to reach the destination. It depends on the country or state where you are on the taxi ride. In Europe, most of the taximeters use both methods. When the taxi reaches certain speed the cost is based on distance. In a stop-and-go traffic (or for the waiting time) the taxi meter jumps from a distance based cost to a time-based cost.

The meter uses electricity to determine how far you have travelled and this is done with the help of the cab’s transducer—a sensor attached to the transmission. It sends a pulse to the meter at specified distance intervals such as in every half-mile. The meter measures time precisely in the same manner receiving pulses at specific intervals like in every two seconds. This is how you get charged for time spent waiting in traffic or for quick stops where the driver sits idle. If distance pulses outnumber the time pulses then meter uses these as dominant and charges according to the fraction of a mile. If time pulses outnumber the distance pulses, then meter calculates your travel fare at the waiting rate, if applicable.

This is how your fare is produced. Thanks for payment.

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