Now,send an SMS to know auto distance and fare

The next time you feel the autorickshaw you are in has a faulty meter and you have a fancy smartphone you can track the distance and the fare in real time.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Updated: June 9, 2017 11:31 am

The next time you feel the autorickshaw you are in has a faulty meter and you have a fancy smartphone you can track the distance and the fare in real time. If not,you can just send an SMS to know the distance between the two points of travel and the approximate fare.

Bangalore-based Ideophone Technosol Pvt Ltd,a start-up software applications firm,started the SMS service six months ago.

The commuter has to send a text by typing ‘@autofare city starting point destination to 9243342000 and Ideophone will get back with a summary of the total distance,the likely tariff and the major landmarks on the way that are stored in their database. The service is hosted on txtWeb.

“Many times,people who are not familiar with the city get fleeced by autorickshaw drivers. This will give them an approximate idea of the tariff so that they don’t overpay,” Ananth Guru,co-founder of Ideophone,said.

Companies such as Ideophone and Kochi-based MindHelix Technologies also provide software applications for smartphones running on Java,Symbian or Android and BlackBerry and iPhone users.

These applications use the global positioning system to track the distance in real time and can work in any city,as one can manually change the settings to reflect the city’s meter tariff. At the end of the journey,the application gives an accurate account of the total distance travelled and the fare.

Ideophone’s application is dubbed ‘Suruk’ and is available for smartphones running on Symbian,Java and Android. The company also has a version called ‘Suruk Lite’ for smartphones that may not be very advanced.

“With Suruk,commuters can even give feedback on the driver and share it with other Suruk users,” Guru said.

Guru developed Suruk with his friend Sandeep Bhaskar while they were studying M.Tech in Bangalore. After graduation,they brought in one more partner and formed a full-fledged company. As of now,more than 31,000 users across cities. such as Mumbai,Delhi,Bangalore,Nagpur and even cities in Turkey and Brazil,have downloaded Suruk,Guru said.

MindHelix has also developed a similar software application called Tuk Tuk Meter,which has about 38,000 users.

“Recently,we launched the second version of Tuk Tuk Meter that has enhanced services such as Google maps to see where you are going and preloaded suggestions for 24 cities in India,” said Kallidil Kalidasan,co-founder of MindHelix.

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