Taxi services aggregators OlaCabs and TaxiForSure have tapped navigation technology provider MapmyIndia to install GPS and tracking devices in their cabs, as part of measures to make travel more secure and comply with recently proposed norms.
MapmyIndia managing director Rakesh Verma told ET that the company has installed tracking systems and GPS in about 10,000 taxis operating under these companies over the last two weeks, adding that demand is fast outstripping supply. TaxiForSure has also installed a panic button inside its cars.
"We got bombarded with requests for installations where the taxi companies wanted every vehicle to be traceable," Verma said. The Delhi government has mandated taxi service providers to install GPS devices and provide full database of their drivers to police following the rape of a female passenger earlier this month, allegedly by a driver of contracted to appbased taxi service Uber. Web-based taxi booking services have since been banned and the Central government is proposing changes to the Road Safety and Transport Bill, which will include taxi aggregators under its ambit.
The GPS and tracking solution from MapmyIndia is installed in the form of a device that provides accurate location, speed and route of the vehicle, and can be tracked from a smartphone or a connected device at any time. The device is equipped with battery back-up that ensures operation in-case of disconnection and also sends out an alarm to the taxi company. Considering rising demand among consumers, MapmyIndia plans to retail the GPS tracking solution through e-commerce sites like Flipkart and Amazon for Rs 10,000.
At present, it sells 400-500 such devices through car accessories retailers. Verma said the company's tracking devices have also been deployed by car rental firm Avis and tour providers Le Passage to India. Aprameya Radhakrishna, cofounder and director at TaxiFor-Sure, said that the company is strengthening safety standards with advanced GPS systems. "The target is to get all cars in the network to have a GPS and panic button — majority of which has been completed — and 'inform a friend' feature in our app," he added.
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