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Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Atlantic City‚ N.J.—For the first time ever‚ a number of industry dispatch system providers have put aside their competitive concerns to collaborate to bring emerging technologies to the industry. Today‚ ground transportation operators utilizing Livery Coach‚ FASTTRAK Cloud‚ The Hudson Group‚ and SedanMagic‚ have real-time access to vehicle location data‚ intra-network communications and on-demand booking capabilities delivered via a new system-agnostic neutral communications platform.

“The emergence of Uber and other ‘apps’ has forever changed the way passengers look at chauffeured transportation services‚” says Chip Bowman‚ a partner at Livery Coach. “If we‚ the technology providers for more than 1‚000 operators‚ do nothing and let new technologies run how our customers do business‚ instead of the other way around‚ then we are not doing our jobs. The members of The CoNext Project are now positioned to give our clients the tools that are necessary to manage both pre-reserved and on-demand transportation services if that is what they choose to do.”

The CoNext Project also facilitates the integration of their own global mobile booking apps to regain their—and the industry’s—competitive edge. “Now‚ each of us will be providing mobile applications that allow operators and their passengers to see their passengers in any car‚ regardless of who owns the vehicle or where in the world they are traveling. As long as a passenger has Internet access on their smartphone/tablet‚ then we can provide real-time GPS data and visibility‚” says John Rowley‚ COO of The Hudson Group.

The CoNext Project brings together over 1‚030 operators‚ 31‚525 cars and 68 million rides each year for the ground transportation providers represented by the CoNext system providers‚ according to Amir Zafar‚ founder and CEO of GRiDD‚ the technology company who developed the neutral platform.

“What we‚ and our technology partners have put together is ‘Connectivity for the Next Generation‚’” says Chris McCrae‚ EVP of SedanMagic.

This new connectivity will eliminate the need for ground transportation operators to call in reservations to their affiliates. With a push of a button‚ they will now be able to send jobs electronically to any operator—regardless of their dispatch system—and they can get real-time ride statuses‚ book changes‚ and send rides to an affiliate regardless of the software they are using‚ thus drastically reducing the overhead of their dispatch and reservations operations.

This is the first time operators from different software providers can communicate directly through technology in real-time.

“Livery Coach‚ SedanMagic‚ The Hudson Group‚ and FASTTRAK have all collaborated to allow this innovation to take place. We have created a neutral platform which eliminates the need for operators to phone‚ fax or email rides that they already have in their systems. It allows them to be more efficient and saves them money‚” according to Zafar.

Eddie McCoy‚ founder of FASTTRAK‚ is excited to be part of this project. “We have not seen anything this innovative in more than a decade. What is truly unique and gratifying is that it is not just one software company. Any company providing software to our industry can work with us. The project was developed with the transportation operators’ need at the forefront‚” he says.

In addition to the connectivity‚ operators will now be able to elect to go on demand when they have excess capacity. The on-demand feature will be at the discretion of the company not the driver.

The CoNext Project will launch with a celebratory “toast” at an event at the Chauffeur Driven Show on November 2‚ 2014 at 8:00 pm in the Diamond Ballroom at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City‚ NJ. All are invited to attend to help us celebrate and learn more about this ground breaking connectivity.

During the show‚ demos of the platform‚ including the on-demand functionality‚ can be seen at Sunday night’s event and information will be available at the participating software provider booths during the show.

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