Thursday, March 23, 2017

The chauffeured ground transportation industry relies heavily on being able to communicate with the main office, be it via text, call, or some other mobile check-in. At the same time, an increasing number of states are enforcing and adopting stricter laws that make it illegal to talk or text while driving—and really, why would you want to jeopardize the safety of your passengers?

Zello, a convenient push-to-talk voice app, was launched to help. Simply put, Zello replaces conventional 2-way radios and phone calls. Instead of using designated radio frequencies or phone minutes, it uses the Internet over Wi-Fi or any data network. Over 75+ million users have Zello installed on their mobile devices and PCs. There are two versions: a free consumer app and a paid subscription service called Zello@Work for businesses.

Using voice over IP (VoIP) technology, voice transmissions are high-quality, live-streaming, and without lags. Unlike 2-way radios, there are no range limitations or licensing requirements. You can install other apps on the same device. Zello offers additional features such as photo sharing, availability indicators, history, and call alerts. You can also talk to a group of up to 1200 users by using the channel feature.

Zello runs on all major smartphones and tablets (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone) Windows PC, rugged mobile devices, mobile computers, and even 2-way radios. Zello@Work, the subscription-based app, can be used for dispatching, driver-to-driver, and driver-to-customer communications. Currently, it is used worldwide in limousine or black car services, as well as taxi, freight, and bus/shuttle services.

Zello is different from other hands-free options that exist now, especially those that are installed in vehicles. According to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, voice-activated systems can be major distractions in themselves and do not help to reduce the risk of crashes. Also, factory-installed solutions are not available for the majority of vehicles already on the road, especially ones built prior to 2001. Zello can be combined with your Bluetooth-enabled system to bridge that gap and make driving safer.

Zello can be gradually transitioned into existing 2-way radio systems or phone-based systems. Since it doesn’t require a dedicated carrier or data (if Wi-Fi is used), there is no need to add or change cell phone providers. Different types of devices can co-exist on one network. For example, PCs can be used for the administrator console and for dispatching, while drivers can use any combination of tablets, smartphones, or iPods. Employees can even use their own personal devices with Zello in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) type environment.  

For hands-free driving, Zello’s accessory partners offer a wide selection of Bluetooth speaker/mics, remote wireless buttons, and wireless/wired headsets, all certified to work with Zello. Prices range from $35 to $175.

A free 5-user network is available to trial by downloading from Zello@Work. For pricing and more information, send an email to sales@zello.com or visit zello.com.

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