Miyako Taxi, a Tokyo-based taxi company, has recently unveiled a new service called 'Silent Taxi' designed to explicitly address all the inherent discomfort that necessarily goes along with a taxi ride. As its name suggests, Miyako's Silent Taxi service guarantees that drivers won't say a word during the trip, giving riders respite from small talk without the attendant guilt that might come along with it.
No matter how formalized and regulated taxis are, it's difficult if not impossible to abstract the actual process of a taxi ride. Taxis are theoretically a faceless public transportation option, but they still amount to paying a human being to drive somewhere, and common courtesy implores a passenger to make conversation as a result. That said, more than a few people despise small talk. Silent Taxi thus formalizes the rules of speaking as a whole, giving riders a relaxing (and guiltless) trip.