Future Of Smart Cities, Transportation In India
Booking a pool ride may look very simple, but there’s ton of technology and investment that goes behind this. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Apurva Dalal, Head of India Engineering, Uber, explains how the technology used in uberPOOL has allowed the company to simplify its operations within seconds, and at a tap of a button.
“One of the challenges that characterises the hurdles for urban mobility in India’s smart cities are around getting people to reduce dependence on private ownership of vehicles. Cities in India suffer from some of the worst congestion in the world. For example, on an average we have 1.2 people in one car at any given point, with the average asset utilization rate as low as 5%.
Uber’s goal is to provide safe, affordable, reliable transportation at the push of a button, everywhere for everyone. Marrying the strengths of public transit with the convenience and reliability of Uber and by promoting usage of ride-sharing in conjunction with mass public transit, Uber’s innovative and hyperlocal ridesharing services like uberPOOL have been working towards ensuring seamless first-mile/last-mile connectivity in several cities across India.
Booking a pool ride may look very simple, but there’s ton of technology and investment that goes behind this. Without technology, it would take tens of thousands of tries to match two random people who are heading in the same direction. Today, the technology we use in uberPOOL has allowed us to do just that within seconds, and at a tap of a button. There’s complex tech at play to make the experience seamless. Here’s how it works:
Relevant data: Uber’s global network allows us to collect data from billions of trips around the world, analyse patterns and iterate on our dispatch algorithm. The operations team in every city further adapts the logic based on city infrastructure, rider behaviour and more.
Tens of thousands of cars: Uber platform enables existing driver-partners to accept both uberPOOL and uberGO rides. Our top priority is to ensure that there is always an Uber available at the tap of a button. Meaning, riders can seamlessly request either an uberPOOL or uberGO without having to worry about where they are or what time it is.
Dynamic matching: When deciding whether or not to make a match, the uberPOOL algorithm takes into consideration multiple constraints – with transformative results for drivers and riders. Some of these include shorter ETAs, affordable fares and driver destination. Our driver destination feature allows drivers to indicate their last stop home at the end of the day. Once turned on, an uberPOOL request is matched only if the riders are heading towards the same direction – making it a magical experience for riders and drivers alike.
Every city is different – it’s roads, highways and travel patterns add a layer of complexity. Apart from redistributing unused or underutilized assets, ridesharing solutions such as uberPOOL, have helped in decreasing traffic congestion and carbon emissions in several cities.
With the inherent advantages of the product, both in terms of improving access and affordability as well as ensuring last mile connectivity, these technology-enabled ridesharing initiatives are creating a profound impact in restructuring the stressed and overburdened urban mobility landscape of Indian cities to bring alive the smart cities vision.”
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