• Avinash Raghava

    A Story of Mobile App. AutoCop, App That Will Make Your Auto Rickshaw Ride Pleasant

    AutoCop Android App by ShimBi Labs. AutoCop is social awareness app that allows users to share their experiences of Auto Rickshaw ride with others. It helps a rider to channelize his frustration or good experience of Auto Rickshaw ride and share it on various social media platforms. We aim to facilitate people in India (including Auto Rickshaw drivers) to be more aware of the benefit achieved by accumulating the day­to­day service quality.

    We interviewed Siddharth Deshmukh, Founder and CEO of ShimBi Labs. In this conversation, Siddharth explains about the idea behind the AutoCop App, how it can help to solve many of the problem today Auto Rickshaw riders as well as service providers face, his vision and much more…

    How did the idea of AutoCop into being?

    Early in life I use to use a lot of Auto Rickshaw, later once I bought my car naturally I stopped using them, but in recent for business, I was travelling across the country and sometimes I decided to use Auto Rickshaw. Whenever I am looking for Auto Rickshaw two things I experienced most prominently, it is likely that I will face either of these situations, refuses to go to destination or charges excess money. Earlier also it was the same experience, but this time, I decided to get to the root cause of it and decided to talk to stakeholders. Listen to what they say:

    Passenger
    “There is no way that the situation is going to change unless the traffic police department take strict measures. An auto rickshaw wala (Auto­rickshaw operator) going to charge excess or refuse to go.”

    Auto Rickshaw Wala
    “For some destinations, I found it difficult to get passengers. On many occasions, I had to return without any passenger.”

    Police
    “We are taking action against the errant drivers. But unless there is an active public participation the issue will remain the same”page1image18496page1image18656

    I think there is an element of truth in each side, and every point of view needs to be answered after comprehensive study. Moreover, such study is only possible, if we have structured data, if not for all but the majority of such incidents.

    So what is solution that you thought?

    I think the solution lies in Big Data. We need to collect huge data if possible from users of Auto Rickshaw every time they use it. Once we have uniformly structured data from small Towns to Major Cities and Metropolitan Areas of India. Based on such structured data, It is possible to learn trends, generate heat maps and pinpoint some facts that need to investigate in great details.

    For example in Pune at Magarpatta City many Auto Rickshaw Drivers are charging extra. In Navi Mumbai Auto, Rickshaw Drivers are refusing to go to Mumbai. Why because they have their own reasons, sometimes they are valid reason but not always. To take proper action and to find a sustainable solution needs large data, which can through insight and tell us many trends and facts.

    How will you collect such data?

    We at ShimBi Labs thought of addressing this problem. First step was to create one simple to use Mobile App. to capture user experiences and save them in uniform and structured format.

    Then make it available to related Authorities, Auto Rickshaw Unions, NGOs, Data Scientist and Policy Makers. So that it can help making proper decisions and policies.

    However, before we create this app. we were very clear on certain points.

    1. This app is not for registering complaints.
    2. This app is not for abusing anyone.
    3. This app is to share your experience of auto rickshaw ride.
    4. This app will gather user experience and help setting trends and heat maps.

    So what should this App do?

    1. Provide an easy way to capture the required data.
    2. Data such as Auto Rickshaw number, time and location of the incident.
    3. and exactly what happened such as Fare denied, Charge Extra, Meter Tempered and or everything was fine.
    4. Provide some useful utilities such as virtual meter, route map etc.
    5. Share your Auto Rickshaw ride experience with friends on Facebook and twitter So that is how AutoCop Android App took birth. Learn more about AutoCop App

    Any examples of data and trend capture through AutoCop?

    App is in very early stage so we are waiting for enough data. But following are few examples how it can through some insight information.

    *These are just indicative figures

    Example 1

    In Pune we collect data:
    Start Point: Laxmi Road Day: Wednesday Time: 7 pm Destination: Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar, Viman Nagar

    Data was collected from 15 March to 18th March 2014

    Above data clearly shows that it seems most of the time Auto Rickshaw on Lakshmi Road are reluctant to go to Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar, Viman Nagar or they over charge the passenger.

    So find the solution to it, all stakeholders must find out real cause and proper solution to it.

    AutoCop1page3image10000

    Example 2

    Start Point: Bangalore Railway Station
    Day: All Days Time: 9 pm Destination: Any destination beyond 10 Km.

    autocop2

    Data was collected from 10 February to 20th February 2014

    Above data is indicating that most of the time Auto Rickshaw at Railways Station are overcharging passengers. Great number of such Passengers may be a tourist or temporary visitor.

    In both examples reasons can be many but such systematic data (Geo tagged and time stamped) is very useful to start an investigation.

    Any further decision based on such solid data will be of more effective.

    Example 3

    Here is another example of Profiling Auto Rickshaw Number.

    autocop3

    These data will easily alert authorities to keep a regular check on these Auto Rickshaw Numbers. More details on what offends they are doing also can be obtained from data, including Geo location and Time.

    What are the key execution challenges you have faced?

    This complex task and unless active participation of people it is impossible to solve the problem. We request all stakeholders to help us. Spread awareness.

    Auto Rickshaw transportation is going to stay here for long, and there is huge scope we can work together. If you share same thoughts and believe in this idea that it will work, some funding is welcome. Your suggestions are welcome, if anyone of you have some good idea, you are welcome to join our team.

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    • Raghav

      Nice initiative. I have few following queries if you have ans to this:

      What is the total number of daily rides of auto rickshaw – In internet either very old data is available or most of the articles says this 229 million(2007) and 482 million(2031) but this is sum of all motorized vehicle rides not auto rides.

      What are the numbers in Top 10 cities(Tier-I and metros) and what is the growth rate

      In articles number of drivers mentioned is 5 million but what about number of autos

    May, 10
    2014
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