A new app allows taxi owners to monitor how many people the driver picks up, how they are driving, and their route, among other things. More than a thousand minibus taxis in South Africa now have Quickloc8’s monitoring technology onboard.

With new technology, taxi bosses can stop their taxis remotely when the driver is overloading the vehicle or driving recklessly.

Local start-up Quickloc8 has developed a monitoring and tracking system which it hopes will “bring integrity back to the taxi industry and promote transparency by giving power and control to the taxi owner and the associations”, says Mbavhalelo Mabogo, founder and CEO. 

“Innovation has happened everywhere else except in the industry that transports the most people to the most places at the most times at affordable prices,” he says.

The company, which has been operating for about a year, has its technology in about 1,000 minibus taxis in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo. 

Three out of four South Africans use minibus taxis and the industry is worth an estimated R50-billion a year. But despite this, the sector is dogged by allegations of dangerous driving. A study by the Institute of Race Relations found that more than half of taxi passengers had seen or experienced an accident for which a taxi driver was responsible.

For R199.99 a month on a three-year contract and an R699 once-off activation cost, the application allows taxi owners to manage their taxi fleet in real-time nationally. “We have built-in features in our hardware that allows taxi owners to safely and remotely stop and start the taxi for more control and to ensure safer driving,” Mabogo says. 

"We install a device assembly in the taxi that can cut power if activated. We made sure it's possible only when the taxi is standing still or at a safe speed."

Through an app on their phone, owners can monitor the number of loads a driver makes a day as well as how they drive and the routes they take. 

Quickloc8 has eight full-time employees, with an average age of 25, Mabogo says. “It’s amazing what such a young group has managed to accomplish in such a short time and this includes winning the 2018 most innovative business award in the Western Cape.

 

Looking forward, he says that Quickloc8’s main priority for the future is to get more taxi owners to use their technology. “More taxi owners using it means more and more people will reach their destination safer.”

 

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By: Bradley Brizzy
Courtesy of Business Insider

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