All Japan news is trying to prevent taxi users from forgetting their wallets, phones, bags or other valuable objects in the back of the car. Tokyo-based taxi Kokusai Motorcars Co will equip its cabs with several video cameras that will detect any object left behind by the client.
Thus four tiny cameras are placed inside the car – two under the front seats, one on the ceiling, and one in the trunk. The cameras record images before and after the passenger uses the cab and if he or she forgets an object that was not in the car before getting in, an alarm system will turn on.
The system will be used in all Kokusai taxis. The 3,100 cabs will be equipped with the technology starting with next spring at an estimated cost of about Y50,000 ($500) per car, according to the international press.
In order to keep the clients’ privacy, the image of their faces will be captured blurred and the company will post signs inside the cabs to inform the passengers of the cameras.
In 2012, around 210,000 reportedly objects were forgotten in taxis, according to Tokyo drivers.
“One moment too early and customers get distracted and drop their wallet or mobile phone,” said Kokusai Motorcars Executive Officer Shinji Tanaka. “One moment too late, and they are gone.”