Thursday, September 24, 2009

NO MORE FIGHTING WITH AUTO DRIVERS

NO MORE FIGHTING WITH AUTO DRIVERS
Three Bangalore techies have developed a software application for GPS-enabled mobile phones that can detect if an auto driver is overcharging or taking a wrong route
RENUKA PHADNIS


It’s something that Quick Gun Murugan might have up his sleeve. A mobile application, nicknamed Suruk (‘quick’ in Tamil), has been thought up by three city techies as a way of beating smart alec autorickshaw drivers who take passengers in circles and overcharge.
The trio – two students of Indian Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB) Anenth Guru, Sandeep Bhaskar, mentored by BalaSundaraRaman (Sundar), a Search engineer and IITB alumnus – have developed this application for GPSenabled mobile phones.
Data entered on the software in the mobile phone can help passengers keep track of distance covered, rate charged and spot a driver who is overcharging.
Currently offered free, plans are afoot to charge users later. All you have to do is download the Suruk installation file from Download page in http://www.suruk.com and copy the jar file to mobile phone, and then open the file. The application gets installed automatically. Details of specific models of mobiles supported are there on the website. WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you have a GPS-enabled mobile phone you can avail of the following facilities. Digital Meter: allows you to monitor duration, tariff and distance of the trip while travelling in the autorickshaw. Once trip ends, click Press Here to End Trip button and stop the meter. You can meter rides and decide midway if you want to switch to another autorickshaw.
Emergency Calls: In an emergency, press one number. Receiver gets an SMS about your location. For this feature, you must have a GPS phone.
Track routes to ensure you are on the right route. While travelling, in “Options”, provide details (source/destination location, driver’s details).
Send feedback about the driver for other users’ reference. Provide vehicle number, driver licence number or badge number, then rate driver as ‘Very Helpful’, ‘Honest’, ‘Satisfactory’, ‘Rude’ or ‘Lewd’. Choose autos by ratings of fellow commuters. Before getting into any vehicle, know the driver’s conduct by providing vehicle/licence/ badge number. ‘Auto Pooling: ‘to share rides with other commuters. Primary user provides route details and time. Once the request is made, an SMS updates other users in the system on the same route. Change tariff: Change default tariff rates in a different city. Modify ‘Minimum Charge/ Distance’ and ‘Amount Chargeable per km’.
USING SURUK
To register on Suruk, you need username, password, mobile number, name, city, emergency contact number and emergency message. Registration enables you to use all services of the application and access the web account login to track details of all previous trips, total distance travelled, total savings made.
Check daily trip information and savings at www.suruk.com/ mobile on mobile/computer.
There are two versions of Suruk. SurukGPS requires GPS and GPRS in phone. All features are available. SurukLite requires only GPRS facility on phone. No digital meter here. Other features (Knowing driver conduct/Share pooling/ Emergency SMS are available).

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