RealTime GPS TrafficUpdate through Rickshaw Drivers By - Aadhar Bhalinge
Problem BackgroundRickshaw Drivers Economic Situation:• In cities across South Asia, due to absence of adequate mass transport systems the ubiquitous rickshaw dominates traffic tangled streets. But Rickshaw/Taxi drivers in Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Egypt and other developing countries are extremely poor and most of them live below the poverty line.• Following statistics will add more numbers to this: – "Taxi drivers are among the 55% of the population living under the poverty line of $2 a day," reported in a *CNN article (Egypt). – Similar is the story of Indian Drivers who earns approx. $4 a day.Real Time Traffic update problem in developing countries:• In developed countries the Traffic data is collected using modern fiber-optic cables embedded in the pavement to sensor boxes along the roads and through the data send by other workers of the Traffic information gathering company.• But such high tech sensor systems require high installation and maintenance costs and are not available on roads of developing countries and thus to determine real time traffic is a challenge.
Solution• The idea - RealTime Traffic for GPS navigators, is a solution to both the above problems. It targets this section of BOP as micro workers, to uplift their living and at same time give real time traffic updates to GPS navigation systems like Nokia Maps, Garmin, Mio, Navigon, TomTom, etc. in developing countries.• In the proposed solution, rickshaw drivers will act as the real time traffic data source. They cover all most all roads and areas, and are on continuous move from day to night. So they don’t have to do any special activity for sending the traffic status of a given area, just need to spend a couple of minutes to send traffic data manually or using automatic traffic data collector as explained below, to MicroWork Employer and will earn for the updates.
MicroworkersBusiness Model Conventional Methods Pneumatic road tube Piezoelectric sensors Magnetic loops Microwave radar Video image detection MicroWork Employer Semi-Automatic Mode Conventional Data Processor Client Final Traffic Update MicroWork Output Processor
Business ModelBusiness Entities:• Client - GPS navigator product companies• MicroWork Employer – One who gathers all traffic data and processes it and send it to clients• MicroWorker – Rickshaw/Taxi DriversProcess:1. Client will subscribe to MicroWork Employer for traffic updates.2. MicroWork Employer will choose the number of microworkers required in each area for traffic monitoring and will get required data from them in one of the following 3 ways: A. Manual: • Whenever Driver stops due car due to traffic, traffic signal or after dropping the passenger to destiny, he can simply text (sms) following 3 key data sets to Employer: – Area Name – Road Name – Traffic Status (Low/Medium/High) • Example: Dadar, Ambedkar Road, High [Delimeter(e.g comma,slash) will be fixed for sms so that automatic processing can be done at employer end] • Payment: $0.10 per verified update (verification will be based on the similar status for a given road and area from other microworker).
Business Model (contd.)B. Semi-Automatic: • In case the driver phone is equipped with GPS, an application will be installed on the driver’s phone. On click of the application it will automatically retrieve the area & road name. Driver just needs to specify the traffic status (Low/Medium/High) from the predefined dropdown box. Whenever Driver stops due car due to traffic, traffic signal or after dropping the passenger to destiny, the traffic update can be send to MicroWork Employer. • In case if driver thinks that GPS is not able to do the job correct, manual override functionality should be provided. • Payment: $0.15 per verified update (Additional incentive for using GSP mobiles which will provide partial automatic data entry and thus more accurate results.)C. Fully Automatic: • *Mobile Century, ‘Field experiment’ performed a demonstration on February 8, 2008 to prove the feasibility of a prototype location-based service: real-time traffic estimation using GPS data from cellular phones only. Fully Automatic mode can be build using the same technique called virtual trip lines (VTLs), which uses position and speed update from the mobile device for estimating the traffic status. In this mode the encryption of data can give additional advantage of user privacy. User don’t need to do any manual intervention, just keep the application running throughout and the traffic data will be send to MicroWork Employer system automatically. • Payment: Payment: $1 for application running for 6 hours per day.
Business Model (contd.)3. The final accuracy of the traffic data will be calculated by MicroWorkEmployer system automatically and it will be based on combination of all thethree modes.(similar results from many microworkers for a given area androad will be considered as accurate result).4. Once the traffic output calculation is done the data will be immediatelysend to clients.5. Client will be charged based on the area required to monitor and thefrequency in which the update is required. Typically a time based contract canbe done.
Novelty• First of its kind, realtime traffic update for GPS navigator systems using mobile technology with the help of rickshaw drivers as microworkers, in developing countries.Benefits• Additional income for the targeted BOP sector (Rickshaw/Taxi Drivers) from developing countries who are living below poverty line, and thus will get a chance to improve their economic status with easy to do/automatic micro job.• Very easy to do task.• Leveraging latest mobile technology for automatic traffic updates.Challenges• For Semi-Automatic / Fully Automatic Modes, a medium budget phone will be required which is a challenge for the microworkers to buy. This problem can be tackled by loaning such phones by MicroEmployer and taking it back once the contract with microworker is over.• Although privacy will be a possible issue with the microworker, but considering the targeted microworkers that will be not much of a problem for most of them.