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Mobile app decodes auto fares, prevents cheating.

New auto rickshaw fares, have you flummoxed and scared of being fleeced? A new mobile application could be the solution to the problem.

tech reviews Updated: Jul 08, 2010 15:36 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times

New auto rickshaw fares, have you flummoxed and scared of being fleeced? A new mobile application could be the solution to the problem.

Called Mumbai Auto, the offline app, launched on July 5 by Mobile 4 Mumbai,
calculates fares as per the new tariff structure and is compatible with most phones.

What’s more, as it is offline, users do not need SMS or GRPS to get fare details.

“Last week, auto rickshaw fares were hiked in Mumbai. While it was easy to calculate it earlier by reading the meter, the new fares are a bit complicated, so we thought we’d come up with something to help ease the situation,” says Saumil Parekh, one of the application developers.

Parekh realised that the easiest way to search for this information was on a mobile application. And that’s how the user-friendly concept was born. The unique technology, developed by Parekh along with Neeraj Pattath and Raxit Sheth, is designed in such a way that it will serve a majority of Mumbaikars.

It also works on any Java-enabled phone, which usually range from Rs 2,500 to Rs 25,000. Parekh says, “Mumbai Auto doesn’t require any sort of connectivity. Our application works without SMS, GPRS, WAP, 3G, Bluetooth or Infrared. It’ll work even if the phone is out of network area.”

Information can be sourced in less than five keystrokes. You can even enter the number without the decimal on the rickshaw meter. This saves time and makes the app easy to use.

However, there are a few flaws. “If we come up with an update for our application, then the user will have to download the application and reinstall it. But as auto fares rarely change, this shouldn’t be a problem,” says Parekh.

Also, it only works on Java mobile phones, so those who own iPhones cannot run the application. Since it’s launch, the developers have been observing more than 500 downloads per day.

But there is scope for improvement. “People can help us by providing more data, suggestions and feedback to improve the application for the next release,” says Parekh.
Their future plans include working on an application which will make the daily transportation of Mumbaikars simpler, cost effective and comfortable using the correct mix of technology.

How it works:
You can download the file from onto your mobile or PC.
Downloading and installing is easy and takes less than a minute.
Once downloaded onto your phone, just open the app and it is ready to use. You can also send the app to your friends via Bluetooth.

Application has one textbox.
Just enter the fare in textbox and click ‘GetFare’. It will show you the day and night fares.

First Published: Jul 08, 2010 13:56 IST