No data? You can book an Uber through SMS soon | tech | Hindustan Times
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No data? You can book an Uber through SMS soon

Poor quality of data services of cellular operators in India is forcing Indian developers on Uber to think of ways to make ordering a cab easier.

tech Updated: Jan 15, 2016 12:12 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
The app named SMSRide, which is yet to go live and is on the testing phase, if successful could be rolled out in mid-March.
The app named SMSRide, which is yet to go live and is on the testing phase, if successful could be rolled out in mid-March.

Poor quality of data services of cellular operators in India is forcing Indian developers on Uber to think of ways to make ordering a cab easier.

“We have opened up our API platform for developers to come in and create content and apps to make rider experiences better,” Dimitry Shevelenko, head of business for Uber’s developer platform said adding that a team in Bengaluru had submitted an app that helps book a ride via SMS.

The app named SMSRide, which is yet to go live and is on the testing phase, if successful could be rolled out in mid-March. The company held a hackathon in Bengaluru as it opened its API platform for developers to create content to make ride experiences better.

Shevelenko also justified the launch of the API platform to better trip experiences. “The decision to build something for riders to enjoy during their journey is based on the fact that the average journey time is more in India due to traffic congestation,” he said adding that the company was focusing on gaming, news and entertainment content currently.

He also said that India had the best developers in the world and the apps that are created here can be used globally.

Shevelenko and his team is also scheduled to travel to China after finishing their trip of India to launch the service in the oriental country. It might face a bigger challenge in China as services like trip experiences already exist there.

The business head also said that the company was not looking to profit out of advertisements which are used by content creators during the trip experience. “If the app wants to have more than 100 users, it has to go through a review process and Uber is responsible for users’ data privacy,” Shevelenko said adding that if the developer is using the Uber API, he has to be on the Uber platform.

The company also confirmed that it was looking to make rides cheaper and increase cars in the country. “If there is a surge pricing on booking a ride, the team gets shouted at,” Shevelenko said adding that Uber had the best rates among other rivals operating in India.