• A special feature of London's black cab industry is the radio taxis, which provide a service for customers to pre-book travel with one of the famous black cabs. This paper examines whether the use of emerging technology can create a competitive advantage within the London radio taxi industry.

  • A case study approach illustrates how a newcomer to the industry, Delta Cabs, through its innovative use of emerging technologies, was able to break down traditionally high barriers to entry and create a competitive advantage, redefining the competitive nature of the industry in the process. The analysis here finds that a competitive advantage has been created. However, it is unsustainable as the resources used are readily available and easily imitated by the competition. Further, it is now easier to join the industry and with the possibility of additional newcomers, the industry may experience more intense rivalry.

  • The research concludes that competitive advantage from emerging technology can be created when certain conditions exist. Innovation — the firm has the foresight to see how the technology could be used. Opportunity — the technology is able to exploit a condition in the industry that makes a competitive advantage possible. Timing — to exploit a relatively short window of opportunity between the technology becoming economically viable and mainstream.

  • Finally, a model is presented to assist firms in realizing competitive advantage from emerging technology.

Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.