Inside the Most High Tech Cab in New York: Car Force One
Sometimes you think you’ve seen everything in tech. Other times, everything in tech gets packed into a car for the ultimate in luxury. If you ever wanted to play on a PlayStation 4, watch cable TV, finish some work on a full-size keyboard, print photos and/or enjoy a beer as strobe lights pulsate around you on your way to work in a clean, comfy cab, take a ride in Car Force One.
A ride fit for a president, Car Force One is a luxury car service that chauffeurs you around the New York area in the most teched-out cars in the world. And the truckload of amenities are at no additional cost.
According to Car Force One founder and CEO Ishai, the company’s priority is customer satisfaction. "My company is not about the car, it's about the service. It's for the clients," said Ishai, who declined to divulge his last name.
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Ishai has been a cab driver since July 2009 and modified the cars himself with a team of helpers. He first started with a sedan, but these days he drives a 2011 Chevrolet SUV that's tricked out with gadgets and amenities such as an Xbox 360 (which he's upgrading to a PlayStation 4 when it comes out), a 23-inch Samsung HD monitor, Blu-ray player, live cable TV with premium channels, 4G Internet, three mobile printers and more.
"I believe it's the most equipped car in the world, the most luxurious car," Ishai said.
He built the vehicle to provide three major services - convenience and comfort, multi-media entertainment and a fully equipped mobile office. Here's an exhaustive list of features in Car Force One, which is not complete because the company is constantly adding new things to its cars.
|Convenience/Comfort||Multimedia Entertainment||Mobile Office|
|Chargers for iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, Samsung and BlackBerry phones on every side/seat||
23-inch full HD 1920 x 1080p monitor that’s hooked up for 5 different uses:
- Internet, Blu-ray movies, live cable TV, gaming console and pictures and videos from SD card reader.
|Fully functioning laptop hooked up to 23-inch monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse|
|3.5mm aux cord for passengers to play own music (although they frequently use YouTube instead)||Gaming console (Xbox 360 for now, he has already ordered PS4)||
4G Wi-Fi that clients can connect to on their own devices
|2 Power and 2 USB outlets in front||Samsung Blu-ray player||
3 mobile printers:
- 4 x 6 photo printer
- an all-in-one scanner/printer
- an HP OfficeJet printer
|Climate control unit to adjust seat heaters, fan speed, car temperature and radio station tuner||Live cable TV (Time Warner) with premium channels such as Disney and HBO||Full-size wireless keyboard (held in place with Velcro)|
|Remote controls throughout car to adjust lighting on/off and dimming||2 headrest monitors hooked up to Blu-ray player||
Wireless mouse (snaps in place with magnetic holder)
|Phone holders near charging cables on sides of car||Theater surround-sound system||Adjustable table as a writing surface that holds the keyboard and mouse|
|Cup holders||More than 200 titles of Blu- ray movies in a 2TB hard drive, an additional 30 titles for kids||SD card reader for memory card file transfer|
|Overhead vanity/"makeup" mirrors for every seat||Up-to-date magazines and newspapers|
| Mobile "bathroom," as a client called it, side dock with
- Victoria's Secret lotions and colognes
- hand sanitizers
- Wet Ones to go
- Kleenex to go
Lights of 6 different colors:
| 3 coolers (2 for now) that serve as mini-bars, offering cold drinks such as
- bottled water
- orange juice
- apple juice
- Diet Coke
- Coors Light
(Plans to add fruit salad cups)
| Mobile baby station with
- bottle warmer
- baby wipes warmer
- paper towels
|Adjustable individual reading lights|
|Flowers (on the weekends)||
|Neck pillows, sleeping mask||
|2 full-size umbrellas, adding 2 smaller ones||
|Infant and toddler car seats and boosters||
| First aid kit
Emergency seat belt cutter window breaker
|Cleaning at car wash every 2 weeks||
Reservations with Car Force One start at $45 for a journey from the Upper West Side to Wall Street, and shorter distances cost a minimum of $35. In comparison, the same ride (UWS to Wall Street) in a yellow cab will set you back some $30 in moderate traffic, including a 20 percent tip. Ishai says the company imposes a minimum fee for reservations because of the commitment it makes and the opportunity cost involved. “If another job comes up for $500, I will turn it down,” he said. The company also doesn't charge cancellation or change fees. He has offered better rates for regulars and sometimes even gives free rides for short distances when he is available between clients.
Don’t expect to call Car Force One tonight and get a ride tomorrow morning, though. Due to a tight schedule, Ishai says the company would prefer people make reservations as far ahead as possible. He receives bookings for March in as early as June the year before, and most of his clients hire him for airport and business pickups. You can access CarForceOne’s website with the username “carforceone” and the password “president” to make reservations and open an account for 15 percent off posted rates.
Ishai says he can’t wait to get started on his next car, and has already bought tickets to go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. He intends to get the latest and greatest tech for his car, including:
- Appropriately-sized 4K or 3D (without glasses) monitor
- Wireless phone charging dock
- Karaoke machine
- Heated and cool cup holders
- Mousepad that can be used on lap
But it's not the tech features that keep people coming back to Car Force One. Ishai says he asks repeat customers why they choose to return to him over other luxury car services. They tell him it is the company's reliability that they prize the most, followed by his friendly personality. "Many of my clients confide in me," he said. But for first-timers, the amazing features of Car Force One are the biggest draw. After all, it's not every day that you get to ride like a president.
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