Buying a Taxi Dispatch Software? 3 important things to know before choosing one.
Is your Taxi Dispatch Software Business Ready?
Read this disturbing review by Thomas from Adelaide, Australia:
” …well finally after speaking to atleast 6 different vendors, I finally decided to choose the Taxi Dispatch Software from this company[ name removed ]. I goto do a free trial run. The demo ran smooth, seemed to have all the features. I tested it inside-out and everything seemed fine. So, I went ahead and did the purchase. I spent good on marketing and on-boarded near 1500+ customers in and around my district. Bought in my existing fleet of cabs and also started signing in taxi’s from the union. Everything went well until the harvest festival. For he first time, I had a simple surge in traffic. Not much, like just 40+ people tried to use it simultaneously and hell broke loose. The app simply failed to load! it just kept spinning. I would have easily used that festival to make my app an instant hit. But everything fell apart. Even the drivers left…..”
Update: Checkout this incredible Taxi Dispatch System we just discovered HERE.
Sad, but true. Not all Technologically ready products are business ready. Being Business ready means, your Taxi Dispatch Software needs to be programmed in a manner to easily accommodate atleast 1000+ parallel users at any given point of time. Most companies dont give this factor a thought. Or even worse, they dont have developers who know how to code for performance. On the other hand, there are companies that just claim their software can handle load but in reality they might have not even tested it.
If your Taxi dispatch Software is not business ready, it will fail when you try to run a real business out of it.
Is it easy to HACK your business?
However good looking your Taxi Dispatch Software is. Or, how much ever business ready it is. If the system has not been build with strong security foundations, it can be a disaster. Read on…
You need to understand, a Taxi Dispatch software involves mobile apps on different platforms. Front end and admin panel. A backend server side code running. In such a scenario there are various communications happening just within your system in so many ways that you cant imagine. Such an environment is also the most favourite playground for hackers. The reason, I keep saying security protocols needs to be employed from the start of developing the system is: It CANNOT be added after the system is developed. Sadly most of the companies that develop the taxi dispatch software add security after its developed. And it doesn’t work. There are a zillion ways even a novice hacker can hack your Taxi dispatch system effortlessly using a set of elementary tools. Infact there are automated bots that do the job.
And these hackers are damn cunning. They never waste their time on newly setup systems. They only work on systems that have been running for some time and is making some decent money. So, they can take it over and demand ransom.
So, please make it a point to ask your Taxi Dispatch Software developer if they have followed the DRACONIAN SECURITY implementation process. right from the start of the development cycle.
Do you really own it?
This is the million dollar question. If you are coder, you will already know what Am going to reveal.
Simple, you can program a product so other developers find it super difficult to understand or modify it. Many Taxi Dispatch software companies follow this strategy to retain the customer. If you try to hire a freelancer or another company in future to customize or maintain your product, it will be a nightmare. Other developers wont understand why calls to functions and classes are made out of the blue. Or why the business logic layer in the code is in so many different layers. Or why the API channels pass through a different framework. In the eyes of the new developer the entire coding will be chaos. This being an age old technique, now companies have become smart. They use existing frameworks like Laravel, Node, Code igniter etc. and still make the functions inside complex. So, when asked this point they just say its done on standard frameworks and escape.
Make sure, the coding practice in your Taxi Dispatch Software follows the ‘waterfall’ model. This model cannot be messed around with and is the most straightforward approach to coding. It’s considered the best methodology to program and also deliver any products. Also, it helps to easily transition the entire code base to next set of developers. Any new programmer can easily hit the road running when this is followed.
Industry News Update:
The Covid19 (Corona virus) pandemic has put a lot many businesses in a serious situation. The most vulnerable of them all have been the Taxi business. Recently ‘Walker Service Corp.” a New York based Taxi service file for bankruptcy. The business has been live since the 1970’s with a significantly big fleet of cars. A Tokyo based Taxi business by name ‘Royal Limousine’ recently has handed over pink sips to more than 600+ drivers. This down sizing has been a result of the recent emergency regulations passed by the Japanese government that would make running cab business difficult. Many Taxi business have also started closing in Libya as the government has closed airports and imposed a curfew to curb the pandemic. Riide Taxi from Saskatoon has stopped around 3 quarters of its cabs and operating the remaining for essential services. On the other hand UBER will be distributing Face Masks to riders and drivers. Also the masks will be provided to passengers. Earlier the company has been distributing Sanitizers etc. in the worst hit cities. Uber will be receiving near half a million masks to distribute during this crisis. Estonia based ride hailing service Bolt Taxi has seen a sharp fall in revenue due to the Covid19 pandemic and is seeking credit support from the Estonian government to the tune of near 50 Million Euros. The company is also actively switching to different business models like Food delivery etc. to fight the situation. The UBER Eats workers union of Tokyo has put forward demand to the company to provide essential PPE like masks, disinfectants etc. to the delivery people during this Corona virus pandemic. Also as a hazard pay, they ask for an extra $2.9 to be paid to each deliverer for each order. In other interesting news the Air Taxi market seems to get tailwind as he next trend in Taxi service. Early this year, Toyota has invested $394 million in Joby Aviation that develops electric Air Taxis. Even other companies like Hyundai, UBER, Airbus, Boing etc. have shown keen interest in this sector with their own initiatives and investments. Over the last few months the business of LYFT has been steadily declining making the valuation of the company shrink among investors. Some reports say that the fare revenue of the company has gone down by 50%. With more people spending more time indoors, there has been a recent surge in Domestic violence in the US. On this account Chicago has entered into an agreement with UBER and LYFT to provide free rides to domestic violence victims. Upon contacting Illinois Domestic violence hotline, the agency will send a Taxi from Lyft or Uber to help the victim escape the situation to another destination. In another news the department transportation and public works in Miami-Dade has partnered with the above ride hailing companies to provide rides to people during midnight hours to help in this Covid19 situation.
Why are mobile apps very important in a Taxi Dispatch System?
The world is changing fast. Where once users booked using browser based websites, are replaced with Mobile apps. Since the inception of smart phones and the concept of Apps, a lot of activity has moved on to the mobile phone. Moreover a mobile app helps users to book Taxi on the go. Thanks to the location based hardware and software capabilities, tracing and detecting the exact location of cars and passengers is an ease. In the modern day taxi dispatch software mobile apps are mandatory. And since the majority use iPhone and Android, your Taxi software would need both IOS and Android apps. Also as a business, you get certain advantages employing them. You can easily track where your fleet is. You can send taxi to passengers wherever they are currently. Your software can calculate pricing on real-time basis. Also you get to contact your customers anytime via. Push notifications.
Is a wallet required in your Taxi Dispatch Software?
Of-course Yes. One way to ask your customers to pay is by tagging their Credit Card to your App. Each time a ride completes, your software bills their Card. If the user has setup bank level security the payment process will prompt a One time password ( OTP ). This can make things a bit cumbersome, especially when the customer wants to leave the car quickly. Also not having a builtin wallet in your Taxi Dispatch Software can create other issues. Some passengers will try paying the driver with FIAT cash. This can lead to logistics issue, accounting etc. for you. To solve all this the better option is to have a wallet built in. Your customers can load money in the wallet and it can be deducted for each ride. You can also incentivize customers with discount if they use your wallet. Also on the go, you can spin of the wallet as a separate business in future. Since your customers have money in the wallet, you can also start selling other items in future inside your app. It opens new revenue streams for your business.
Is an API layer required in your Taxi Dispatch System?
In general any Taxi Dispatch Software that has Mobile apps will have an API layer to communicate with the server side code. If you can extend this API layer to have its own documentation and secure access, you can do magic with it. As your business grows, you can offer this API layer to other developers and ask them to develop apps on top of your system. Like how developers do apps on Facebook or Twitter, just imagine how good it would be if you had people developing apps for your platform. There are also many API platforms you can submit your APIs to like Postman collection, which would make using your API layer easy for developers. Also there are API marketplaces like Rapid API, Zapeir etc. Also there are services available for you to monetize your API usage by others. This happens on per API call basis. You can plan on giving controlled access to your data, so people would pay to use your API.