It is more important to delineate whether Uber, Ola and the rest are software-powered marketplaces first or operational companies at their core? The confusion and ethical questions regarding these so-called marketplaces are because they are masquerading as private-taxi providers with world-class branding, which they are not ! Indians trust people first, and these radio-taxi apps are least bothered about the human touchpoints, and more concerned about increasing driver numbers – no matter which car-owning miscreant approaches them for a free iPhone.
At times the driver’s software itself is so buggy, that it cheats uninformed consumers. In one incident, I was overcharged 60% higher kms and 11 mins of waiting time for an early morning 10-minute breezy ride to the airport, by one of these appy-drivers ! Uninformed consumers stand to lose out financially in all such cases due to the trust they put into these branded services !
I run a company that provides GPS routing intelligence and GrayDrop delivery ERP to reliable private-taxi providers as well as app-based radio taxis, and from my knowledge – Most of the private VC funding to radio taxis is really going into massive driver incentives and earning, which is spoiling the economical balance in driver’s hands. Some of the drivers have enough cash to start seeking other immoral means of entertainment, not needing to bother about daily food for them and their families. Is this the disruptive power of technology? Focus needs to be on the driver and passenger safety aspects going ahead, whether it be route deviations, planned versus actual covered, alerts on deviations, ride quality, driver directions, communicating estimated time of arrivals, drunken driving indication, alerts on phone switching off, and all other unsafe behaviours which can be tracked using Big Data. The need of the hour is for passengers to encourage more adoption of such software intelligence by private-taxi and fleet cab owners, as well as app-based radio taxi providers. Don’t stay shut – Raise your voice by registering your request here: http://www.graydrop.com/#!upcoming/cae0