The French Government has decided to promote the use of geolocation technology among taxis by building and operating a nation-wide geolocalized database of taxi cabs.
This free and open platform allows any third party to look for taxis near a geographical position and e-hail a driver.
France Taxi Open API is a production of the French Government Incubator, which has already successfully launched projects like data.gouv.fr the first national open data portal built like a social network, Simplified Public Tenders, or the national benefits simulator mes-aides.gouv.fr. All those "State startups" are small autonomous teams led by a public servant, working in lean startup mode inside 6-months timeboxes.
As part of its Open Government Partnership roadmap, the French Government will release the Taxi platform under the Affero GPL Open Source licence, allowing any city, state or country to reuse it freely. Anonymized data about every taxi ride including pickup and drop off times and locations will also be released as Open Data.
The project has started in March 2015. A test phase with early adopters (both search engines and Taxi apps) has occured since this summer, and public rollout is planned for the end of the year.