Singapore is bringing the wireless experience into the taxi. CityCab, one of two taxi companies in the wired nation, will install wireless devices in a pilot project involving 500 cabs to allow passengers to surf the Web, send e-mail, and check the news and stock prices - all from the back of a cab. Lim Hung Siang, CityCab chief executive, said Project Escalade was aimed at revolutionising the customer experience and improving the efficiencies of its fleet management. CityCab operates a fleet of 5,000 vehicles in Singapore. The pilot phase begins this month. Mr Lim said the company planned to roll out the wireless service into every CityCab taxi. Seven years ago, the taxi cab company was one of the first in the world to fit data terminals and global positioning sytems (GPS) in its vehicles to receive and respond to booking orders via wireless networks. Project Escalade will replace the monochrome data terminals with Pocket PCs from Hewlett-Packard. Voice-recognition technology will enable CityCab drivers to process calls from passengers with hands free and respond to booking orders across wireless networks to personal digital assistants in CityCab taxis. The handheld device will allow CityCab drivers to access mapping and routing information via location-based technology and access taxi statistics and traffic updates using voice commands. It will also serve as a payment system. A private secure network is created in the taxi using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology so that passengers can access internet services using their own PDAs and laptops. The network will in turn be linked to public cellular networks, such as GSM, GPRS and 3G networks. Ericsson is the technology provider for Project Escalade.