IoT and Ridesharing: What Businesses in this Arena Need to Be Aware of
The ridesharing industry has been going from strong to stronger in the last few years, as increasing numbers of consumers across the globe test out and enjoy the benefits of getting a ride when they need it and at an affordable price.
As a result of this growth, more and more businesses are entering this arena. While there is much to learn and to stay on top of if you’re in this field, or thinking of entering it, one area in particular you need to follow is how IoT is affecting ridesharing and what businesses can offer consumers.
If you’re running, or planning to launch, a ridesharing business, keep in mind that the software you use should be taking advantage of advances and new developments in IoT as much as possible. Whether you’re interested in the Ridecell rideshare software program or another option, be on the lookout for potential IoT integrations to help “drive” your venture forward — perhaps in one of the following ways.
Monitoring Drivers in Real Time
One way in which IoT is used is to monitor drivers. If you have a fleet of vehicles and want to be sure the drivers operating the vehicles are doing the right thing, via connected devices you can get access to a variety of information about their behaviors. Through GPS and other programs, you can see what’s happening in real time and notice if drivers are doing anything you don’t want to encourage, such as cancelling on passengers who request the service, speeding or overdriving.
In addition, performance metrics can make it easier to tell if there is room for improvement when it comes to driver safety. That is, since so much data is collected, businesses can tell if drivers are working dangerously long hours without enough rest periods. Since fatigue is one of the biggest causes of accidents on the road, this will increase safety.
Better Vehicle Maintenance
One of the biggest costs for ride hailing companies could be the cars themselves, if the company is not built on a peer-to-peer model. As such, it’s good to know that IoT will help improve vehicle maintenance. You don’t want cars breaking down in the middle of a trip or costing more than they need to. Due to the onboard diagnostic ports installed in cars and the applications that work with them, it’s simpler for business owners to manage the performance of their fleets and catch issues quickly.
Companies can look at optimizing things beyond the health of vehicles, too. For example, fuel consumption and idle time can be analyzed to cut costs and relieve drivers of handling manual reporting.
Another way the Internet of Things is providing benefits to ridesharing businesses is that it makes for more efficient travel. Fleets have to use electronic logging devices, which means drivers don’t have to input their hours and routes manually. This gives them more time to get to and from locations.
Plus, when GPS systems can talk to apps and other software about traffic conditions, like congestion, roadwork, accidents and the like, this means drivers can get real-time information on roads to avoid and more-efficient routes. This saves time, which makes for happier passengers and enables drivers to fit in more rides per day. Everyone makes more money, and less fuel needs to be consumed, too.
Something you might not have considered yet for your business but that is likely the way of the future, is partnerships with brands and events. Companies such as Uber and Lyft are already getting into this area, as it helps organizations to expand their business, better service clients and reach new customers.
For instance, Uber partnered with music streaming businesses Spotify and Pandora to provide a more enjoyable riding experience to customers, who could create their own playlists using the Uber app. Lyft has partnered with event organizers, such as Sundance Film Festival, to offer discounted rides to select film premieres.
Both companies are also using IoT to expand into the healthcare arena. Via applications they’re making it easy for healthcare providers to schedule rides for patients, ensuring they make appointments on time and get home safely afterwards.
When you’re operating a ridesharing business, it’s necessary to keep your drivers happy, so you don’t have a huge turnover and so drivers are more pleasant to customers. Thanks to IoT, it’s possible for drivers to be tipped better by those they ferry around, which improves driver earnings and satisfaction levels. More user-friendly tipping processes, due to internet-connected devices, make tipping more likely — it’s a quicker, easier thing for passengers to do.