Self-drive taxis operating on the insertion of a small plastic disc have been on test in the old French University city of Montpellier over the past two months.
SV Taxis ZOOM IN TO CU..man enters taxi
CU INTERIOR.. of taxi, man starts engine
GV Car drives off
TRACKING SHOT.. car along road
GV Taxi pulls into rank man out of car (2 shots)
CU Sign "Assistance" on visor of car
SV Man into car to check meter (2 shots)
SV Woman gets into taxi
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV.. woman drives off
Initials ES.1400 ES.1417
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Background: Self-drive taxis operating on the insertion of a small plastic disc have been on test in the old French University city of Montpellier over the past two months.
They are for use by members of the Transport Individual Public (TIP) co-operative. A member can buy a plastic disc from any Montpellier tobacconist. When fed into the car's meter it allows the car to be driven 18 kilometres (11 miles within a certain radius of the city.
The system was started with 250 co-operative members and 35 cars. Its progress, apparently successful, is being watched by the French and international Traffic Authorities.
SYNOPSIS: Self-drive taxis operating on the insertion of a small plastic disc could provide an answer to the world's urban traffic problems. Such a system has been on test during recent months in the old French University City of Montpellier. It means that the motorist, instead of driving his own car in town, shares access to a number of cars with hundreds of others. This way a relatively small number of cars remain in constant use, significantly reducing the number of cars on the road. Estimates say that each communal car can replace 15 or 20 private ones.
The non-profit Montpellier system, called Transport Indiduel Public, or TIP, was launched in mid-August by French engineer Phillips Leblond, inventor of the meter equipment used by the TIP cars. An initial 250 townspeople joined the co-operative at a fee of 420 francs (32 Sterling) each. They had 35 specially equipped cars placed at their disposal at strategic points around the city. To use one, a member buys a plastic disc from any Montpellier tobacconist. When fed into the car's meter, it allows the car to be driven 18 kilometres (11 miles) within a certain radius of the city. The meter progressively 'eats up' the disc as the distance grows. When it is used up the car stops. A half-used disc can be extracted and used for the next trip. Members are given two keys which enable them to enter any of the TIP cars. They can climb into one where-ever they find it -- and leave it at one of the score of blue and white-lined parking lots scattered round the city. After two months of testing, everyone seems pleased with TIP -- its management, users, and the Montpellier authorities.