To be able to connect a driver with the customer and to enable easier and more efficient transportation of goods within cities, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has come up with a mobile application to address the issues and aims to eventually resolve them.
According to a press release by IIT Madras, the faculty members, students and alumni designed and developed a mobile application called ‘OptRoute’ and the first version of the app was commercialised through OptRoute Logistics, an IIT Madras-incubated start-up co-founded by Prof N S Narayanaswamy, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras and Anuj Fulia, an IIT Madras alumnus.
The OptRoute mobile application has two user modes, one for the driver and the other for the customer who can place a request for the goods transport. This app connects a driver with the customer by accepting the requests through the app. No commission or onboarding fee for the ride would be taken. Thus, the payment for the ride from the customer goes directly to the driver, with no intermediaries, said IIT Madras in the official press release.
“OptRoute aims to solve the issues in connectivity between drivers and customers in the goods logistics and transport domain. The main issues faced are the unavailability of return load for transporters and vehicle capacity under-utilization. The current market of this domain is highly unorganized making it inefficient. It is also ripe for the deployment of technology-based solutions to reach the goals set by the National Logistics Policy, 2022,” said Prof Narayanaswamy, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras.
There are differences between OptRoute and the existing services, like the zero commission on every transaction made by the driver and the customer, the nominal subscription-based service model and no intermediaries between them as the driver gets paid directly. Additionally, there won’t be separate apps- just a single app for both the driver and customer which is available on Android phones and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
“We have developed a lightweight mobile application where customers and drivers can get connected. OptRoute does not use any third-party services allowing us to cut down the cost of operation to an absolute minimum and because of the same reason we are able to provide our service with zero percent commission. This design and development has had a significant contribution done by alumni and students of IIT Madras. By the end of this year, we will scale our service to be available in 500+ cities,” said Anuj Fulia, Co-founder, OptRoute Logistics, and an IIT Madras alumnus.
The basic idea was presented during the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference held in Cancun, Mexico. Currently the mobile application is available for operational use in multiple cities across the country, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Panchkula, Pune, Mohali, Surat and Zirakpur, informed IIT Madras.