Around 2,100 taxis operating at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) are set to be equipped with in-car Smart AI monitoring equipment by the end of this year, Bernama reports.

The system – which consists of an app, high-definition cameras, speakers and panic buttons – is aimed at improving the quality of taxi services, said Petekma president Syahrir Abdul Aziz. It will monitor and record the movements of taxi drivers, and will be connected directly to a control centre, which will intervene if something untoward happens.

“Drivers will be closely monitored as the focus will be on their driving and they should not flout the rules by smoking or quarrelling with passengers. Should the situation reach a dangerous level, the control centre will warn them about action that can be taken. It can even stop the vehicle if the situation worsens,“ he said.

“As for passengers, Smart AI will ensure they are protected from untoward incidents where they are asked to pay extra fares, harrassed or scolded by drivers during the trip,“ he said.

Mohd Syahrir said that the operation of the new system will begin with 300 taxis, with installation for the rest being carried out in stages. He said that the initiative – which will be jointly handled by the Taxi Drivers, Limousine and Car Rental Operators Association (Petekma) and equipment supplier Teguh Tunggal – will not see an increase in airport taxi fares, as the government’s fixed taxi fares will be maintained.

The current KLIA to Kuala Lumpur fare for a budget taxi is RM83, while the premium taxi fare is RM118 and the rate for a luxury and family taxi is RM233.