“Taxi Together” is a smartphone application that allows KAIST students to car-pool or split taxi fares with others. Developed by three of our university’s students, the application’s iPhone version was launched last September with plans to launch the Android version as well this semester. The KAIST Herald met with one of the creators of Taxi Together to find out more about the application.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Changje Jeong and I am in the entering class of 2011. I major in Computer Science and am part of the programming club SPARCS.
Could you tell us about the other two creators?
The two other creators are also part of SPARCS, and that is where we met before we created Taxi Together. Eunjin Joo, who entered KAIST in 2009, could not make it to this interview because she is currently in France on an exchange program. The third member Beung-uk Ahn, who entered KAIST in 2007, is performing his military service.
What is the story behind the creation of Taxi Together? What motivated you to create this application?
Last year, Eunjin and Beung-uk entered a public contest on smartphone applications with this idea, and I believe they won an award for it. So they already had the idea behind Taxi Together. I have always been interested in developing an iPhone application, and so I joined them in its actual creation. We worked on it as a summer project last year.
What exactly is Taxi Together and how do you use it?
Taxi Together is a smartphone application that can be used when you need to take the taxi at a certain time and date, but you don’t want to pay the entire taxi fare. Using this app, you can create a unit called “Together” which describes the date, time, departing location and destination set by the creator. A list of currently existing Togethers will appear in the “Together tab” of the app, and anyone can join. Each Together also has a comment, chat, text and call function that can be used to communicate with other members of that specific Together. People can freely join and leave Togethers. Even if the original creator of the Together leaves, the Together is preserved as long as there are other members. We also have a tab for information on Daejeon call-taxi services.
Is Taxi Together exclusively for KAIST students, or do you plan on expanding the user range for public use?
Right now, only KAIST students can use this app. After you install it on your phone, you have to go through an identification process where you have to type in your KAIST email account. You will then receive an email sent to that account and only after clicking on the verification link directly from your phone can you use the app. We don’t really want to make Taxi Together a public app, because it could then be misused by people with wrong or dangerous intentions.
When the application came out in September last year, you held a promotional event. Could you tell us more about it?
Users could send in a group photo with members of their Together riding the taxi. A photo of the taxi fare receipt and a short review of the app were also required to partake in the event. Among the contestants, 5 groups were chosen and each person received a voucher worth 10,000 Korean Won. We think the event was successful overall in terms of promoting the app, as we received many entries.
Right now, not all KAIST students know about Taxi Together. How are you planning on advertising the application?
We are planning to advertise a lot after the midterm exam period. Of course, word of mouth and personally advertising the app to the people we know play a big role, but we want to do more. We will probably make posters and put them up in various areas around campus, especially in front of the cafeteria. I think promoting Taxi Together should be done by the three creators but, as I have mentioned, two of the three members aren’t currently at school. Thus, I’m planning to ask the people at SPARCS to help out.
Do you have any last comments for the readers?
I hope you like the Taxi Together app that we created. If you are experiencing any difficulties using the app or have any remarks about it, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.