NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing vehicles will soon have screens with videos and games in their backseats.
But will they enhance or ruin your rides?
After winning a lawsuit against the City of New York, Vugo will soon be allowed to run videos, games, weather and more on tablets, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported. A judge ruled the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission could not justify allowing TV in taxis but not ride-sharing vehicles.
“We’re expecting, over the next eight weeks or so, that it will be introduced in the first few hundred cars. But the of the year, we’re hoping to be in about 10,000 or so vehicles,” Vugo CEO Rob Flessner told Carlin.
Some riders are skeptical.
“The whole idea of an Uber is you’re paying for a premium experience. I don’t want to be given a bunch of ads while I’m getting a premium experience,” tourist Mikey McCormack said.
“I think it’s too much. I think it’s fine the way that it is,” a woman added.
Much like taxi TV in Yellow Cabs, riders won’t know if the vehicle coming to pick them up has it until their ride arrives.
The software does not allow for a mute button. But Vugo leaders say the volume and brightness can be dialed all the way down and a mute option is in the works.
Flessner told Carlin drivers have a financial incentive to embrace the new tablets.
“Drivers will be compensated. We estimate that on average, one of our tablets can generate $100 to $200 of revenue per month. So that’s additional incremental revenue for the driver for work they’re already doing today,” he said.
“If it puts extra money in my pocket, why not? If it doesn’t hurt no one, I don’t see a problem,” driver Javier Mendoza said.
A representative for the city’s law department said the legal decision that sided with Vugo is being reviewed, but so far there’s no legal appeal.
Vugo filed a similar lawsuit in Chicago to get an ordinance in the city overturned to allow the video screens.