Quickloc8, a technology startup company, is making artificial intelligence (AI) a reality for the taxi industry. The company is partnering with local taxi owners and associations by providing innovative solutions to modernise the industry by allowing it to be a safer and more reliable transport option. The company was founded by Mbavhalelo Mabogo, an entrepreneur from Thohoyandou in Limpopo. Recently, Quickloc8 added a new offering to its services: an AI camera that will help the taxi industry deal with Covid-19.
Mbavhalelo Mabogo, founder and CEO of Quickloc8 | image supplied
Here, Mabogo shares his startup story, the newly-developed AI camera, tips and advice, and more about Quickloc8.
Mabogo: Quickloc8 was started as means to empower taxi owners to tackle the difficult task experienced by taxi owners in managing taxis, drivers and ensuring route compliance.
We wanted to develop an easy-to-use app that can help owners to manage their drivers better, reduce on-road accidents, and improve overall safety in the taxi industry, using technology.
Our solutions were built from the ground up and required extensive facetime with taxi owners and route offices in order to come up with a tailor-made app exclusively for the taxi industry.
Mabogo: We understood that we were essentially rolling out technology to an industry that is not accustomed to using technology and apps to solve day-to-day operational problems. Our solution needed to be considerate of that fact and allow for that smooth transformation.
As an industry first to roll out such a technology solution, we also had to invest a lot of time and effort to fully understanding the challenges on the ground. This process meant that the final market product would be developed through several iterations and adjusted at each point from the input gathered from taxi owners and their user experience.
Mabogo: We are planning to roll out the technology nationwide with a special focus on Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Currently, Quickloc8 has its base in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
Our future plans include rolling out additional three new products that we are currently developing in-house for the taxi industry and public transportation.
Mabogo: The innovative AI camera was developed as a means to introduce 4IR technologies to the taxi industry in an effort to modernise daily operations and also increase transparency.
The AI camera solution works through an embedded algorithm that counts passengers inflow and outflow per load, such that taxi owners are able to know exactly how much revenue is generated per trip and shift by their taxis. In addition, taxi owners are also able to do time streaming inside the taxis, and also two-way communication with passengers through the app.
The AI camera is also linked to real-time GPS location tracking. This allows taxi owners to know exactly where their taxis are at any given time. Crucially, these owners also receive notification of when their drivers’ shift starts and ends and they can also track exactly how many trips have been made between the designated taxi ranks. Taxi owners, through the app, will also be able to ensure that a driver cannot drive the respective taxi without permission using a built-in taxi stop/start feature.
Mabogo: On the business side: Do not find a market for your app, develop an app for the market as a solution for a problem you identified.
On the technical side: Have an in-depth understanding of the development tools available to you, then start building.
Mabogo: The boldness to solve problems that everyone can see but not have the courage to face. An unwavering belief and confidence in their ability to solve problems. A commitment to outwork, outlearn and outgrow everyone else.
Mabogo: Look at the bottom of the pyramid, there are a lot of problems that are currently being experienced by our people…solve one of them.
Sell…sell ideas, sell a vision, sell road maps, and sell products. Whatever you do sell sell sell! The art of selling is too important, it gets you intimate facetime with your clients and first-hand knowledge about the industry. The extent to which you understand your clients and industry will come very crucial when it’s time to raise money for your business.