SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— High tech and transportation are headed for a collision in the courts as a San Francisco-based company that creates apps for hailing taxis was approved for use in New York. The company, Uber, is already being sued here for taking away business from San Francisco cab companies.

The app let you call for a ride in a town car or SUV and your fare is charged to your credit card. It’s meant to be faster and easier than calling a cab. But cab companies say its skirting city regulations.

New Yorkers will get a taste of what Uber has to offer starting in February when it goes on a trial basis.

UC Davis professor Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, said the information technology revolution has barely made its way to transportation.

“We’re stuck with these anachronistic rules and entrenched interests and so it’s a question of how do you bring transportation into the 21st century,” he said.

Sperling said we could easily be creating a much smarter and consumer friendly transportation system if we’d just stop thinking “horse and buggy”.

“We need people to become aware that there are these opportunities and options to have much better transportation. When I say better it can just be less expensive, it can be easier. It can just be higher quality because you’d be better taken care of than you are now,” Sperling said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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