Just few years back there was no Ola or TaxiForSure or an Uber. You had to rely on that rude autowala or you would call a local taxi guy, who was most unreliable and would always ask for flat price. Well, now we have Ola/TFS/Uber along with few others. Has anything changed? I am not too sure.
Yes, we have an app now which can find a nearby cab and book it for you but the service is still more or less same as it used be earlier. You book a cab and you get a call from driver – “sir kidhar aana hai?” (Sir, where is the pick up?). Well, didn’t I give my exact location to the app and server which found a nearby taxi? Why does driver need to call me to find out my location? In Bangalore it had become such a pain for me that I had stopped booking cabs thru these apps! The language used to be another struggle. If I am booking cab from same location (i.e. my house) every day and guiding you with direction to my house why can’t your system learn from it? Google provides exact direction from point A to Point B; why can’t you use it?
The answer is simple; no one at these companies is trying to solve these technical issues. These are solved problems. At Yahoo! we used to resolve a point location to a place name; it’s easy. If they can just resolve my point location to the community name where I live, they can provide a community name to the driver which is more useful. Moreover, they can provide exact direction and a few landmarks so driver doesn’t have to make a call.
The cabs are same old cabs and the driver is the same old driver who loves to talk over is mobile while driving! What has changed then?
It would be great if the leaders in these companies paid more attention to technology to solve some of these issues. The human aspect of driver also need more training and education.