THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when the metre fare in autorickshaws continues to remain elusive and cabs run by the aggregators charge higher fees during peak hours, a group of students from the Muslim Association College of Engineering, Venjaramoodu, have launched a mobile application 'Autokkaran'. The app enables customers to get autorickshaw services at affordable rates sans additional charges.
'Autokkaran', which was launched two months back by MLA V S Sivakumar at a function, is the brainchild of Mohammed Ali Jawahar. The app is modelled like the Uber and Ola and can be downloaded from Android Play store. "Although we had launched the application earlier, it could only be accessed through the Android Play store.
Currently we are planning to add more features to the application and make it more accessible to the customers via iOS,” said Sibin, a team member.
The idea came up as part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Programme (IEDC) and the initiative was funded by Niyaz Bharati, the director of Bharati Infologics, who provided technical and financial support. In the first phase, about 50 autorickshaws were launched in Thiruvananthapuram city, Kazhakoottam, Attingal and Venjaramoodu. Sibin said, “Although we chose to introduce the application in 50 autorickshaws, more than 200 autorickshaw drivers had approached us regarding the application. This is because the app is also helpful in solving the difficulties faced by the autorickshaw drivers with the advent of online taxi services.”
The app also informs customers about accurate charges - autorickshaw drivers cannot charge extra fee as a correct reading is obtained in the mobile app after calculating the total distance. The team has temporarily stopped the application to upgrade it with added features. In the next phase, they plan to make the application available in other districts too.
How does the application work?
Open the application in your mobile phone and then enter your mobile number. Then enter the OTP number that you obtain in your number. Like other online taxi services like Uber and Ola, a location can be confirmed and a driver can be confirmed. After confirming the driver, the auto can be hired.